10 October 2010
Obama’s Domestication of Energy
The United States of America is the world’s biggest consumer and producer of energy. It is also the world’s biggest net importer of natural resources (Shaffer, “The United States” 135). The domestication of energy is the production and consumption of energy from resources found in the home country. Domestic energy can occur from petroleum reserves on public and private lands, from using hydraulic fracturing of shale to make gas, and from the use of renewable resources. It is needed because of how it gives economic stability and securable energy for the citizens of the home country. The domestication of energy and how to produce it is an emerging topic that concerns with the environment and politics that President Barack Obama has many stances on. The domestication of energy production has many effects of the environment. One of these effects is the toll that will happen when America’s petroleum reserves are depleted. “In 1973, the United States imported 35 percent of the oil it consumed; in 2007 it imported close to 60 percent,” (Shaffer, “The United States” 137). The United States also has the world’s largest oil refining capacity. Although the capacity is slowly growing, there have been no new oil refineries in over thirty-five years. This infrastructure has proved its vulnerability in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hindered refineries throughout the Gulf Coast region (Shaffer, “The United States” 137). According to a U.S. Geographical Survey done in 2000, The United States has roughly 362 billion barrels of oil and about 1908 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (Aguilera 145). However, as history indicates, it is not appropriate to assume no new resources will be discovered from areas not assessed, reserve growth, and unconventional resources such as heavy oil, oil sands, and oil shale. “Over time, of course, depletion may force the world to reduce its reliance on conventional...