Land of the Free: Addiction to Oil
Today in the United States, just about everything that we buy uses oil in some way, shape, or form. Oil is the key component in not only making vehicles move, but it is also what powers cities, the plastic case on your cell phone, and just about every other product you buy. This resource is very important to the way we as Americans live. So, the question is, if this is such an important resource, then why is it that we are almost completely dependent on other nations, that for all intensive purposes, do not like us except for our financial aid?
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States imports, on average, almost 11.5 thousand barrels of oil daily and as of December 11, 2012 the price of oil is $85.79 per barrel. When you do the math, that is just over one million dollars per day and almost half a billion a year that is going overseas. Now, I am no economist or mathematician, but with the shape America's economy is in now, that is a lot of money not going to create American jobs.
In the United States there is a really big fear of drilling for resources, such as oil, on our own land. While the threat to the environment is a very real threat, for example the BP Gulf oil spill, this fear has dramatically damaged America's ability to become energy independent.
In order for an energy company to even consider drilling in resource rich areas, these companies have to consider a few things before even getting to the site to break ground. According to regulations set out buy the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), A company must establish a detailed “Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure” plan that includes costs such as permits, detailed geological, medical, and environmental plans, monitoring, and cleanup procedures . Once all of those steps and costs are met, then the company will be placed under review and may get authorized to begin drilling.
It would appear that our nation is doomed to wither away in our addiction to foreign oil because our addiction runs so deep into the very fibers of our culture; however, I am here to show you the silver lining in the cloud. What America needs is a serious intervention and we need it fast. Much like groups that help individuals with addiction, my plan is a six step recovery program for America.
Step One: America, today is the day that we need to identify that, yes, we do have a serious problem. We need to admit to ourselves today, America, that our addiction to foreign oil is hurting us and to our future generations.
Step Two: Once we can admit to our addiction, we then need to gradually begin to start coming off of the source of our addiction and stop getting our oil from foreign countries.
Step Three: From there we then need to cut back on the extremely tight bureaucratic regulations that threaten to strangle the life out of American industrialism. Not to long ago, America prided itself on hard work and the ability to be proud of making something for ourselves. By doing this, more companies will be able to construct plants and America will actually be able to employ our people. It is time that we get the Federal Government out of the way and allow for America to once again become the economic super power we once were.
4. Step Four: America is a beautiful country that is full of amazing natural wonders. My plan does not simply do away with the need to protect our natural beauty, but instead I propose to instead transform the way in which that beauty is protected. To ensure companies are not harming the environment or the natural habitat in any way, I propose that the EPA be expanded in regards of employees only. This will allow for more government jobs that will not only help stimulate the economy by putting Americans to work, but it will also allow for a larger inspection force to ensure that companies are diligent in protecting the environment with this newly obtained freedom. In the event that a company is negligent such as BP, heavy fines would be placed upon the company and that company could have drilling privileges revoked for an indefinite period of time. This would ensure diligent and competitive work on the part of companies in order to prevent this financial setback.
If steps one through four are followed as proposed, then the final steps of our recovery will simply follow right into place.
5. Step Five: We all know that drilling for our own resources is not a long term solution, but it is a very good short term solution that can buy us some valuable time. To ensure that we never go back to our addiction, drilling for oil in America will give us some time to put more resources into finding better, cheaper, and cleaner alternatives to fuel. By saving that half a billion dollars a year, we could find a long term solution rather than just waiting until the addiction comes back and destroys us.
6. Step Six: Upon reaching our final step, this is the point where America can look back and see that we are now truly free from our addiction to foreign oil and that our nations environmental, economic, and societal future just might look a little brighter.
The addiction the we face will not be an easy one to break. With the half a billion dollars we spend on foreign oil a year shows just how bad our addiction has gotten over the years. With my proposed six step plan, we will once again be able to stand on our own two feet and proudly proclaim that we were able to take that first step and break our addiction. We will be able to generate jobs in an economy that is falling apart. Most importantly, we will be able to buy ourselves time to find more environmentally clean alternatives to fuel our daily lifestyles in a way that could hopefully reverse the environmental and economic tailspin we are currently in.