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Energy Crisis Of The United States

2145 words - 9 pages

Energy Crisis Of The United States
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At the beginning of the year the President of the United States announced that the United States was in the middle of a nation wide energy crisis. The President gave many solutions including using more solar and wind energy, nuclear power, and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The President told the American people that they would have to watch their energy use and conserve as much as possible. Gas prices reached $2 per gallon in the Midwest for the second straight summer, and California continued to be hit by unprecedented power woes that forced rolling blackouts. The price of crude oil rose sharply, from around $10 a barrel to a peak of $37. The current rate has settled at about $26 per barrel. The cost of home heating oil rose as well. ?Many energy analysts, while willing to apply the term 'energy crisis' to California, say the nation, as a whole is not in the throes of a crisis. They note that oil imports continue unabated and say the current price problems come from shortcomings in the transmission of energy to companies and consumers.'(Energy Conservation News, 2000)

At the moment, our biggest problems, in the oil market, are that the United States is in the clinches of the mighty oil countries that decide how much oil to pump and sell to the United States. When an oil producing country is angry at the United States withholding oil until demands are met seems to be a popular solution. Leaving the United States to seek alternative oil sources to pump so as not to be at the mercy of these smaller oil producing countries and their blackmail attempts. The top three producers of oil are; Saudi Arabia with 8.10 billion barrels, United States with 3.24 billion barrels, and Russia with 2.56 billion barrels in a year. The top three consumers of oil are; United States with 7.06 billion barrels, Japan with 1.18 billion barrels, and China with 0.50 billion barrels in a year. The United States would have to almost triple its producing efforts to equal the consumption rate. Early last year, environmentalist and United States oil company executives found themselves sharing the same concern: low oil prices. As the year began, the average cost of crude oil continued to fall despite high demands during a cold winter, limited reserve capacity among members of OPEC and the continuing absence from the market of any oil from Iraq. In January, crude oil was selling at a five-year low of $12 a barrel. And OPEC, which once virtually dictated world oil prices by manipulating supplies, failed in two attempts to persuade its members to cut production by just 2 percent.

Environmentalists were dismayed because cheap oil meant a continuing lack of economic incentives to develop or switch to alternative energy sources. Average regular gasoline prices at the pump fell in January to $1.06 per gallon, obliterating the effects of the small energy tax imposed by the federal...

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