Today, our nation is heavily dependent on the crude oil we purchase from other countries. Without this oil, we can’t travel or ship goods. However, the price of crude oil is extremely volatile. As the oil supply decreases, the countries that own the oil charge more money per barrel, which in turn drives gas prices up. When gas prices are high, people all across the United States suffer. This drives people to some extreme means. Many Americans have shirked travel or vacations for fear of using gas. People will go longer with out tending to their cars, use tire coupons or find other means to save money with their automobile. The only way to solve this problem permanently is to move away from crude oil altogether and begin using a different fuel, such as natural gas. In March 2012 T. Boone Pickens, the chair of BP Capital Management spoke on our oil issues in a recent TED Talk.
Why Do We Use Crude Oil?
In 1912, the United States was faced with an important decision. The country had to decide whether to use whale oil, crude oil, or coal as its primary fuel source. The U.S. wanted a fuel that was cleaner and cheaper, so it selected crude oil over the other two choices. However, the crude oil was owned by other countries. As a result, the United States had to import the oil, which caused it to become dependent on the prices set by the oil’s owners.
The Bottom Line
The current crude oil situation indicates that the price of gas will not be decreasing. In addition, the supply of crude oil is limited and decreases daily. The only option the United States has is to look for another source of fuel. The best course of action would be for the U.S. to focus on a domestic, readily-available fuel such as natural gas.
Our Current Crisis
Because of the problems we are currently experiencing with crude oil shortages and unreasonably high prices, our country is at a crossroads once again. It is quickly becoming evident that we will not be able to use crude oil as a fuel source forever, so we need to choose an alternative fuel. Once again, we want a fuel that is cleaner and cheaper than our current fuel. However, we should also choose a fuel that does not require the involvement of other countries.
Why Do We Need Domestic Fuel?
Countries around the world collectively consume 89 million barrels of oil each day for a cost of $3 trillion. One-third of this amount, or $1 trillion, goes to OPEC, the organization of countries that owns crude oil. This transfer of wealth is the largest in the history of mankind. If our source of fuel were domestic, we would not need to transfer our wealth to any other country. Instead, this money would be invested back into our country’s economy. In addition, we would no longer be at the mercy of any other country’s price determinations.
Why Natural Gas?
Some people believe that we should use solar, nuclear, or wind power to replace crude oil. Though these are all excellent alternative energy sources, they cannot be used for transportation purposes. Because 70 percent of our crude oil is used for transportation, we need a fuel source capable of powering vehicles. Natural gas is abundant in the United States, does not require refinement, and can be used for transportation.