Petroleum Products Problem in the USA

America’s overdependence on petroleum products is one of the main reasons for the sluggish economy. The cost of importing crude oil creates a trade deficit, and it increases the debt burden of the United States.

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Also, policymakers must explore other sources of energy because petroleum products contribute to the degradation of the environment. Government officials and other stakeholders must work together in order to eliminate the country’s overdependence on petroleum products.

OPEC Influence on Oil Price

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC controls a significant portion of available petroleum products. In economic terms, they have control over the supply of a valuable commodity.

The United States is dependent on crude oil and natural gas in order to power factories, vehicles, and offices. Therefore, the country is at the mercy of OPEC (Gorelick 12). In other words, OPEC can dictate prices because the demand for oil is constant.

Fixed Amount

The oil will always remain an expensive commodity. This is due to an irrefutable fact. Crude oil is a finite resource. The present rate of consumption will continue to rise due to the need for more power plants and the need for more transportation hubs. Dwindling resources enable the OPEC to justify regular price hikes.

Environmental Concerns

Even if Americans discover new sources of crude oil, it is not prudent to continue using the said product. Fossil fuels, such as crude oil and coal, produce harmful gases when utilized as a fuel source. One of the critical effects of fossil fuel burning is the release of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere. Global warming is the direct effect of the presence of excess carbon dioxide in the air.

Byproduct waste

Aside from carbon dioxide, the burning of fossil fuel also releases other harmful byproducts. Noxious fumes increase the risk of developing respiratory diseases. Harmful chemicals are released into the air, and the end result is pollution. It also reduces the quality of life in the city.

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Infrastructure and transportation of oil causes problems

Air pollution is only one aspect of the problem caused by fossil fuels. The need to transport petroleum products across continents increases the risk of water pollution. This is the result of accidents and other problems related to the transportation of crude oil through the use of oil tankers. Oil rigs are also prone to accidents. As a result, oil spills and related issues are contributing factors to the high cost of transporting petroleum products.

Energy independence is not likely

It is impossible to achieve energy independence if the U.S. economy continues to rely on crude oil and coal for its energy requirements. American factories and U.S. transportations systems must break free from the bondage caused by petroleum products.

It is high time to look for alternative sources of energy. However, it must be pointed out that biofuels are not reliable sources of energy. Bio-fuels can never satisfy the energy requirements needed to support an industrialized nation like America.

Bio-Fuels are Inefficient

Energy independence is impossible with bio-fuels. The U.S. will have to sacrifice millions of acres of farmland in order to harvest the raw materials needed to produce bio-fuels. For example, Americans will have to plant crops with a high content of starch or oil to produce fuel for vehicles and power plants.

Renewable Energy More Stable

Renewable energy sources are more stable compared to bio-fuels. Renewable energy platforms based on solar and wind power are more stable because there is no limit in the supply of the primary energy source. Wind and solar power are inexhaustible sources of energy (Michaelides, 195).

Reliance on oil has a negative social impact

The high cost of petroleum products forces the government to utilize valuable cash reserves for the importation of the said product. The U.S. government will continue to suffer from a heavy debt burden because of the need to use financial resources to cover the cost of crude oil in the international market. Thus, the government fails to provide critical public service in areas characterized by poverty and great need (Kippin 15).

Discourages use of alternative energy

Growing demand for the importation of petroleum products will discourage the use of alternative energy. In the present time, it is more expensive to use alternative sources of energy, such as solar cells and wind farms.

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However, investments in these types of technologies, coupled with the surging demand for alternative energy platforms, will lower the cost of production. However, this will never happen if the U.S. government will not commit to the program by reducing its dependence on crude oil and coal.

Discourages efficiency

The current infrastructure that depends on crude oil and coal is an inefficient system. In comparison, a nuclear power plant is more efficient compared to a coal-powered plant. Burning oil to generate electricity is not a sustainable process. However, nuclear power plants are risky. Thus, the best way to solve this problem is to migrate to renewable sources of energy.

Conclusion

The U.S. economy is on a decline, and one of the primary reasons for the decline in the country’s overdependence on petroleum products. The U.S. buys expensive crude oil and coal from foreign partners, and as a result, the country staggers due to a heavy debt burden. Aside from the economic aspect of the problem, fossil fuels are also primary contributors to air and water pollution. The best alternative is to invest in renewable energy platforms.

Works Cited

Gorelick, Steven. Oil Panic and the Global Crisis. New Jersey: Blackwell Publishing, 2010. Print.

Kippin, Henry. Public Services: A New Reform Agenda. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013. Print.

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