Modern society has rapidly evolved over the years and left many countries, including our own, with a powerful addiction to energy. In the United States, our energy comes from a variety of sources, including coal, gas, petroleum, nuclear, solar and wind, but by far the greatest amount comes from fossil fuels. These fuel sources are finite – once we use them, they’re gone forever – and are distributed across the globe.
America currently produces about 40% of the oil it consumes, but domestic oil production has been in decline for decades and the U.S. is increasingly looking to foreign sources to ensure our access to petroleum. Each year, we pay significant sums of money and export jobs to foreign companies and governments to supply our fuel for transportation, electricity, and warming needs. This means that our money doesn’t stay in our communities, can potentially support companies that take advantage of lax environmental regulations and workers abroad, and makes America dependent on other nations.
Although the U.S. does have fossil fuel deposits in the form of coal and natural gas, these resources are finite and domestic supplies could shrink even further depending on use trends and future environmental regulations. Failure to account and plan for this is a serious risk that our country needs to consider.
Americans depend on energy sources from other countries, and in order to become energy independent, we need to take a deep look at our energy usage and sources and switch it up.