Over the past few years a very big topic that has come up in the news and in a lot of conversations is Oil. The definition of Crude Oil is the mixture of naturally occurring hydrocarbons that is refined into diesel, gasoline, heating oil, jet fuel, kerosene, and literally thousands of other products called petrochemicals. Crude oils are named according to their contents and origins, and classified according to their per unit weight (specific gravity). Heavier crudes yield more heat upon burning, but have lower API gravity and market price in comparison to light (or sweet) crudes.(business dictionary)
Another definition of crude oil is a naturally-occurring substance found in certain rock formations in the earth. It is a dark, sticky liquid which, scientifically speaking, is classified as a hydrocarbon. This means, it is a compound containing carbon and hydrogen, with or without non-metallic elements such as oxygen and sulfur. Crude oil is highly flammable and can be burned to create energy. Along with its sister hydrocarbon, natural gas, derivatives from crude oil make an excellent fuel.(OPEC)
Oil is the lifeblood of America’s economy. Currently, it supplies more than 40% of our total energy demands and more than 99% of the fuel we use in our cars and trucks. The Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy focuses on two important concerns over oil – an immediate readiness to respond to oil supply disruptions and keeping America’s oil fields producing in the future.
In the event the United States is confronted with a serious disruption in oil supplies, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve can provide an emergency supply of crude oil. The oil is stockpiled in underground salt caverns along the Gulf of Mexico coastline. President Bush has ordered the Reserve to be filled to its full 700 million barrel capacity by 2005.
The Department of Energy also maintains an emergency supply of heating oil for consumers in the Northeast who depend on this fuel for much of their heating needs. Two million barrels are stored in commercial terminals and can be released quickly should severe weather or other emergencies create life-threatening fuel shortages.
One way to prevent an oil supply disruption is to ensure our domestic production of oil is maintained. Remaining U.S. oil fields are becoming increasingly costly to produce because much of the easy-to-find oil has already been recovered. Yet, for every barrel of oil that flows from U.S. fields, nearly two barrels remain in the ground. Better technology is needed to find and produce much of this “left-behind” oil, and DOE’s Fossil Energy program, through its National Petroleum Technology Office, is developing new exploration, drilling and production processes that can keep U.S. oil fields producing for well into the future.(USDE)
That section states that even though our oil fields are being drained there is still oil in them that we cannot get too. With new inventions and new ways of drilling we will be able to get the rest of the oil that is being left in the oil fields. There is no real energy source that has affected our whole existence with such an impact that crude oil has had.
Oil was formed over millions of years from dead plants and animals that lived in the oceans before the dinosaurs and some is from the dinosaurs. This is why it is called a nonrenewable resource because it takes an extremely long time to be made. So when we run through the oil that is in the ground now, we will not have any until another few millions of years from now. In every aspect of life there is a rise a peak and a fall right now we are at a peak, we will never be able to extract the same amount again. And because of this and the fall or drop when we run out we will have no cars no planes, nothing that is propelled by oil or a off product of oil.
The all American alternative to oil is Hemp which can be grown on American farms. However, it was banned in the United States in 1937. “Everything now done by fossil fuels can be done cheaper and better with renewable natural resources grown on American soil by American farmers. For more than 12,000 years before it was banned in 1937, the world’s number one natural resource for food, fiber, fuel and natural oil was hemp.”(hempfarm.org)If we can grow something that is equal to oil and is all natural and reusable, why not. It comes down to politics if it is a truly equal alternative. Hemp is also known as weed, or marijuana. It can be made by boiling it until the needed nutrients are taken out. “The answer has been available for thousands of years. We can either burn clean hemp biomass fuel to boil water and make the steam that turns the turbines that give us our electricity, or we can burn oil and coal and pretend that nuclear power is “Clean Energy”.”(hempfarm.org) The only thing in question would be is making a drug legal going to make things worse or better over all. The answer we will never know unless we try it. However it should not be illegal for the farmers who are growing it for the government to sell as a natural alternative to oil. The same goes for natural gas. If we were to convert everything from oil based gas to natural gas, everything would be a whole lot better. In fact if each country had its own way of producing an equivalent resource to oil it would change the crisis we are in currently. Instead of oil ruining the world and shutting down plants it would have minimal effects on the world as a whole. And even though many politicians now are pushing to legalize hemp and put a tax on it; which in turn with the selling of that and collection of taxes from it the United States could receive billions of dollars more a year; and even with that tax hemp would still be much cheaper than oil is now and much safer for the environment. There are many different things that when the time comes we will be forced to have to use, even if there is a strong opposition to it.
Another thing that is bad about oil is the danger to and the effects it has on the environment. For example the transportation of oil is very dangerous because of the high chances of an oil spill from oil tankers traveling across the oceans. There is a part of the government that was made specifically for instances like this called the EPA the Environmental Protection Agency.
In the case of an oil spill the EPA seeks to prevent, prepare for, and respond to oil spills that occur in and around inland waters of the United States. EPA is the lead federal response agency for oil spills occurring in inland waters, and the U.S. Coast Guard is the lead response agency for spills in coastal waters and deepwater ports.(EPA)
When countries are at war, one country may decide to dump gallons of oil into the other country’s oceans. Terrorists may cause an oil spill because they will dump oil into a country’s ocean. Many terrorists will do this because they are trying to get the country’s attention, or they are trying to make a point to a country. Seabirds are strongly affected by oil spills. A seabird may get covered in the oil. The thick black oil is too heavy for the birds to fly, so they attempt to clean themselves. The bird then eats the oil to clean its feathers and poisons itself. If workers have found sea birds that are not dead because of oil, they will take the birds to a cleaning center or captivity where they are kept in a facility because they can not live in the wild on their own. Animals that are in captivity because of an oil spill will be cleaned by professionals and volunteers. When a bird is in captivity, the oil will be flushed from its eyes, intestines, and feathers. The bird will be examined for any more injuries like broken bones, and it will take a medicine to prevent any more damage. And not just birds are affected every animal in the ocean is affected in one way or another.
The future of the world still dependent on oil looks very bleak and dreary, there has got to be another way, there is other ways it just all depends on us as people to change it before it gets too bad.