United States's Vast Untapped Alternative Energy Resources
United States Is A Leadig Polluter
United States is a leader in pollution. United States consumes 20 billion barrels of oil each and every day. This consumption is hurting our planet. Not to mention eating up dwindling oil supplies like Bill Clinton eating hamburgers in McDonalds. It does not have to be this way. United States possess the resources to become a world leader in both alternative energy production and consumption.
Example of Geothermal Energy
United States Is Not New To Geothermal Energy
Geothermal energy is currently being used in the United States. Companies such as ACT based in Iowa City, Peppermill Resort in Las Vegas, and NASA are currently using geothermal power. Yet, geothermal energy accounts for only a small amount of the United States's energy consumption. Geothermal Education Center stated, "The United States alone produces 2700 megawatts of electricity from geothermal energy, electricity comparable to burning sixty million barrels of oil each year." That means the United States is currently able to replace less than 1% of it's current oil production with geothermal energy. However, United States does not have to rely solely on geothermal energy.
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Our Under-Developed Hydroelectric Power
United States is not even scratching the surface of our hydroelectric power resources. Yes, we have several hydroelectric dams. One of the most famous hydroelectric dams being Niagara Falls. Multiple states also house hydroelectric dams. However, United States was originally explored and founded by water. Our vast riverways, lakes, and streams could produce so much more hydroelectric power.
Currently United States lags behind three other countries in producing hydroelectric power. USGS described the top hydroelectric power generating countries as, "China is the largest producer of hydroelectricity, followed by Canada, Brazil, and the United States." That means United States is currently ranked number 4 for hydroelectric power. As oil supplies dwindle, United States should be poised to be a world leader in alternative energy, not begging other countries for oil. United States has yet another under developed alternative energy resource.
Energy 101: Hydroelectric Power
Harnessing Power Of The Wind
United States' geography makes it well suited to developing wind power. We possess many large mountain ranges that snake through valley and empty on to sweeping planes. The wind's awesome power even caused large dust bowls in the early 20th century. This massive amount of wind can be a great source of power. In the Midwest, wind power is proving to be a very valuable source of alternative energy. Science Daily reported, "Rock Port Missouri, with a population of just over 1,300 residents, has announced that it is the first 100% wind powered community in the United States."
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United States Government Is Taking Notice
Government's role in alternative energy is vastly disputed. One side wants the government to pass legislation mandating alternative energy usage. The other side wants to let private companies decide when alternative energy should be used. This author would say that there is a middle ground. Government incentives for private companies to research alternative energy sources. No matter where you fall politically, United States government is going to move on alternative energy.
President Barack Obama stated, "America has always risen to great challenges, and our dependence on oil is one of the greatest we have ever faced. It's a threat to our national security, our planet and our economy. For decades, Washington has failed to solve this problem because of partisanship, the undue influence of special interests, and politicians who would rather propose gimmicks to get them through an election instead of long term solutions that will get America closer to energy independence."
Beauty We Must Protect
How We Can Take Action
It is clear that the United States is making some usage of alternative energy. We utilize such hydroelectric dams as Hoover Dam, Rock Port, Missouri runs completely on wind power, and even some businesses run off of geothermal power. It is also clear, we have a long way to go. There is something you can do today.
It is possible, and can be inexpensive, to generate home made energy today. Plans are available to modify existing homes for alternative energy. Not only would this save you money and help the environment but it would also push energy companies towards alternative energy sources.
- Hydroelectric power and water. Basic information about hydroelectricity, USGS Water Science for Scho
Hydroelectric power water use. USGS. Retrieved on April 19, 2010
- Rock Port, Missouri, First 100 Percent Wind-powered Community In U.S.
Rock Port, Missouri, First 100 Percent Wind-Powered Community In U.S. Science Daily. Retrieved on April 19, 2010
- Oil consumption (most recent) by country
Consumption (most recent) by country. NationMaster.com. Retrieved on April 19, 2010
- Geothermal Power Projects Grow 46% in 2009 American-German Business News
Geothermal Power Projects Grow 46% in 2009. American-German Business News. Retrieved on April 19, 2010
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