Fossil fuels, which comprise of natural gas, oil and coal, constitute most of our energy that is consumed locally, approximately two thirds of the electricity energy and transportation fuels depends on the use of fossil fuels (Fraust 12).
The increasing economy of the United States over the last number of decades can be majorly attributed towards the use of fossil fuels as a source of energy. With present situation and a projected period of close to two decades, the American economy and energy security will still be fully dependent on the use of fossil fuels despite the development and establishment of new nuclear power technologies which are reliable and renewable. Global energy security is always imperative in ensuring the development of a nation; ranging from industrial development to better health facilities. The United States has and will always be rely on the available and affordable fossil fuels to drive key sectors of the economy such as transport, the manufacturing industry and the power industry. Of course fossil energy is the most cost effective form of energy that is presently available in the United States. Industries that have relied on fossil energy over the years have depicted efficiency of the fossil fuels (Fraust 13).
Issues related to the use of fossil energy
However, the continued use of fossil energy raises some concerns that would particularly affect the welfare and energy security of the United States. Some of the concerns include environmental issues associated with fossil energy particularly carbon dioxide emissions, rampant pollution which is the pertinent cause of green house effect and global warming (Fraust 21). The continued mining of coal means that most of our land will be destroyed rendering the already dug pieces of lands useless for carrying out any economic activity. The current use of fossil energy appears beneficial, but the continued use of this kind of energy will be disastrous in the future. The use of crude oil is also responsible for the environmental pollution through tanker oil spill that were recently experienced.
Such environmental issues that are associated with the use of fossil energy put the lives of the citizens of the America and the whole world at risk (Fraust 21). The total reliance on fossil energy poses a threat to economy and the security of the United States in the future. Some of the possible risks associated with complete reliance of fossil energy to run the economy, security and welfare of the United States are its depletion and the inability to renew fossil energy. Natural resources are bound to depletion and crude ail and other fossil energy source are no exception.
The energy crisis
The increasing energy needs in the future will not be met by fossil fuels alone (Richards 100). Necessary steps should therefore be implemented in order to control the current crisis that is as a result of increased dependency on fossil energy. Global energy imbalance is the primary cause of the energy crisis that is currently being experienced in the United States and almost everywhere in the world.
If the united states is to rely completely on fossil energy in future, then the United States department of energy has a major task ahead concerning the efforts to ensure that fossil energy is never runs out which is practically impossible, because the fossil energy reserves will soon run out(Richards 100). The depletion of fossil fuels and lack of use of fossil energy does not warrant the stopping of the key sectors of the economy to move forward. The economy and security of the United States of America is paramount.
This implies that United States must establish new effective strategies; extensive research on fossil energy technologies and most importantly, develop other energy sources such as nuclear and solar power which are more reliable and renewable and environment friendly. Presently fossil energy is the only available and reliable source of energy to drive the economy, but considering the long term effects of fossil energy may turn disastrous in future if alternatives to dependency on fossil fuels are not established (Richards 105).
Solutions to the energy crisis
The reliance on fossil fuels is a crisis by itself and therefore appropriate measures should be taken to curb potential problems that are related to the use of fossil fuels.
The only solution to this crisis is through the establishment of possible alternatives to substitute the use of fossil energy. Currently, this may not seem as a problem but in the near future, the crisis is bound to reveal itself. Since the depletion time of the fossil fuels can be predetermined, it therefore implies that urgent solution to the energy crisis is established and implemented early enough before the crisis gets out of hand (Sinha 150).
The established strategies that would be required to address this issue should be able to provide both short term and long term solutions. The only effective though impractical would be to reduce the reliance of fossil energy and promote energy independent economy (Richards 107). The critical part in the present crisis is noted through the recent reduction in global supplies of crude oil and the political instability among the major suppliers and producers of crude oil and natural gas, the increasing demand of crude oil, competition for the available fossil energy and the increase in environmental costs that are related to the use of fossil energy. The digging up of coal and the carbon emissions can not be sustained any longer due to the violation of environmental policies and land preservation policies. In order to keeps the economy moving, the United States must therefore come up with new energy technologies that have the capability to be renewed and are free from depletion compared to the fossil energy.
The new energy sources should also be environment friendly and their use should not draw much international debate. Some of the potential alternatives that could serve as long term solutions to the present energy crisis include the development of nuclear power technologies; adequate research have to be conducted on the use and renewability of nuclear energy. Another possible alternative that could be considered to support nuclear energy is through the harnessing of wind and solar energy. For a very long time, wind and solar power have been ignored yet if harnessed using the correct technologies, they provide the most reliable and efficient energy sources that attempt to utilize natural resources without degrading the environment (Fraust 20). Respective solar and wind technologies will have to be implemented in order to increase the efficiency of the suggested alternatives to fossil energy. These alternatives are environment friendly and they will serve as the required long term solution to the present energy crisis.
It is therefore the duty of the United States department of energy to carry out adequate research on the suggested alternatives in order to increase their efficiency so that reliance on fossil energy can be reduced (Williams 45). This would put the American economy and energy security in a better position, guaranteeing the sustainability of energy supply without having too much concern on environmental issues and issues related to the supply of crude oil and natural gas. It is important for United States to have its own channels of energy supply as this would foster the development of our country in terms of economy, energy security and the welfare of the people of the United States of America. This will imply that the incline in the American economy will not be determined by external factors such as the importation of energy for instance crude oil.
Difficulties in implementing the new solutions
A challenge itself is the adoption and implementation of the alternatives energy sources to substitute and reduce the dependency on the use of fossil fuel. Nuclear energy is disastrous if no proper measures put in control to monitor the usage (Sinha 155).
Nuclear energy can be used to produce radioactive fuel which could drive a large number of factories and related ventures. The challenge is in the safety and transparency in the nuclear facilities. The success of nuclear operations is subject to internal cooperation and regional approaches. The transition is not bound to come easy because it is subject to criticism and rejection. Energy politics is a global issue and the adoption of the new energy technologies such as nuclear energy is not an exception (Williams 42). Nuclear energy adoption and testing is subject to international debate because majority of the countries are of the view that countries that adopt nuclear power have ill intentions that are primarily directed towards the building of nuclear weapons.
This implies that the global support for the adoption of nuclear energy has reduced over the recent past making the adoption of nuclear energy a subject of global criticism. The establishment of new sources of energy to substitute the fossil fuels will also be a subject of environmental criticism; this implies that having implementing the suggested energy sources will require a temporary violation of environmental principles to facilitate the projected solutions to the crisis (Williams 45) The transition towards the adoption and implementation of nuclear and other potential energy sources is subject to take much time before they become fully operational. One of the time constraints will be as a result of trying to convince the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the initiative is directed towards a peaceful world through use of nuclear technology. Another reason why the transition is bound to take much longer time is due to need to educate reliable nuclear professionals who ensure that sufficient research is done on nuclear technology as a means of avoiding the energy crisis that looms ahead.
The citizens of United States will have to make some sacrifices in order to facilitate this initiative, for instance the resettlement to construct nuclear facilities and testing places. Environmental laws will in some cases require relaxation. Most importantly, the duty of the president towards the realization of this project will be resist any groups of people who may be having personal interests in order to impede the success of this initiative (Williams 45).
President Einshower had a vision that the Atoms for peace were the only way to ensure abundant supply of electric energy and ensure energy security. This vision has not been realized and implies that the use of nuclear energy will be only viable solution to the present energy crisis (Williams 30).
Faust, Daniel. Energy Crisis: The Future of Fossil Fuels. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2008. print, pp 10-22. Richards, Julie. Fossil Fuels. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish, 2009. Print, pp 100-110.
Sinha, Paul. Energy Crisis. New Delhi: Anmol Publications PVT.
LTD., 1998. print, Pp 150-157. Williams, James.
“Oil & Gas Journal for publication.” The Coming Energy Crisis? (February 2003): Pp 23-56.