A long time ago (and we’re talking 18th – early 19th centuries, here), the primary source of energy used by most Americans was wood. Relative to the demand prevalent in that day, this was a vast, virtually inexhaustible resource. As such, crises related to energy essentially didn’t happen – or, at least, if they did, they affected individual families who had ignored the old story about the ant and the grasshopper, and neglected to stockpile enough firewood for the winter. Basically, if you needed energy, you very likely could step outside with an axe and chop it yourself. You certainly didn’t depend on hostile foreign nations half a world away to sell it to you.
How things have changed in the modern day. We’ve gone from nearly complete dominance of wood as an energy source, through coal, and finally to human history’s thus-far undisputed king of energy: Oil. We use oil for an alarming number of purposes, from running our cars to generating electricity to heating our homes. To put it simply, we need it; America’s economy would grind to a virtual halt without the black blood running through its veins.
Which is why it’s so frightening that we don’t supply all of our own oil. Let’s not misunderstand: the United States does produce a lot of oil, and contrary to popular belief, most of what it uses isn’t imported. Unfortunately, enough of it is that our foreign oil supply is a major economic and political consideration. We still receive so much oil from abroad that we would be economically crippled without it, which puts us at the mercy of foreign governments and any interruptions – deliberate or incidental – that may generate in our oil flow. We’ve already seen this manifest in the 1970’s, when events such as the Yom Kippur War in Israel and the Islamic Revolution in Iran contributed to the “energy crunch” that caused oil prices to skyrocket. And no one was trying to starve us off when those things happened; imagine the consequences of a malicious enemy going out of its way to harm us.
Why, then, when oil supply is vital enough to be a bona fide national security concern, are we so opposed to increasing local output? Despite the objections of Republicans in the House and Senate, President Obama vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have doubled incoming oil from Canada – a political ally and friend, and far preferable as a trading partner to Iran, or Venezuela. And when it comes to actually producing more oil in the United States, forget about it – ideological leftists are sure to shoot down any such propositions with overblown environmental concerns.
President Obama has done everything he can to get in the way of American energy and Hillary Clinton has declared war on the American worker .
And that is our biggest obstacle to utilizing the vast natural resources we have in this country: opposition from within. Environmentalists always seem to get their way whenever there is talk about expanding the use of energy sources such as coal and natural gas; they won’t have it, because they fear pollution. Heedless are they, of course, that modern technology allows us to extract and utilize these deposits more cleanly and harmlessly than ever before. The fact is, aggressively curbing America emissions – which would require forsaking important energy sources and stunting our economy – would be nearly meaningless without the cooperation of emerging industrial nations like China and India, neither of whom are sensitive to the environmental paranoia that exists in this country. All we can do is destroy our ability to compete with them, when we should be using what we have to the fullest. Environmentalists have run the show for long enough.
Of course, weaning ourselves off of our dependence on foreign oil to our own production and utilizing more of our own God-given natural resources are only the first steps. We need to be looking toward the future, to a time when oil and coal become no longer necessary, giving way to less politically unstable and even cleaner energy sources. We keep hearing about the need to invest in solar and wind power as ways of producing renewable energy; let’s get serious about it and usher in a transition to these important technologies. It’s time to move into the 21st century; we can end our dependence on foreign oil by, ultimately, ending our dependence on oil altogether!