The Idea of Drilling for Shale Oil

free essayIs drilling for shale oil within the USA the best strategy for the country to achieve energy security or are there better methods?

There is a debate concerning the issue of the oil imported from Canada in order to increase non-OPEC oil import being the best solution. Some people believe that investing in non-oil sources of energy, like the wind power, will save not only money, but also the environment. Others support the idea of drilling for oil offshore, off the coast of USA. All these methods seem appealing. However, there can only be one solution that is better than the rest, and which guarantees better security to the USA.

The Need to Drill for Shale Oil within the USA

The US is among the largest oil consumers in the world, taking the first place by doubling the amount consumed by China, which comes second (Varchaver, Lustargen & Mero, 2004). The constant rise of the demands for oil gives us the need to attain a better supply system. There is a rising demand for oil security because the income of the US citizens is increasing. With the rise of the standards of living, the individuals develop a need to acquire vehicles while some seek an upgrade of the ones they are using. Therefore, the best way to analyze the rise of the demands for oil usage is through the purchase of automobiles. As many people begin to possess cars, the fuel prices also increase. People will never come to a point when they have enough oil; hence, there is a great need for the US to provide the essential means that will guarantee the fuel sufficiency in the country.

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Currently, the government spends millions of dollars in order to import oil from the countries that do not have the US interests at heart. Thus, the nation is at the mercy of these countries since they can dictate the trading terms that favor them at the expense of the United States. Also, with the rise of terrorism attacks among these major distributors, the supply of the commodity is under threat. The instability in these countries places US at a disadvantage (The United States Council on Foreign Relations, 2006). The country faces the risk of lacking the independence it needs to secure the protection of its undertakings.

In case the oil drilling occurs in the USA, a lot more freedom and advantages will appear. For example, the country will face lesser competition from emerging economies of the countries like China and India. It will also lessen the strain the government faces from dealing with the competing countries. Moreover, drilling oil within the country will lower the rigid environmental standards of the production of particular products. Furthermore, some of the countries that provide the United States with oil are of different civilizations. Most of the time, the US is in a state of constant conflict with the countries that share the same culture with the ones from which we get oil. Most countries in the Middle East are at odds with the democracy we share, with the women rights and with general freedom. Therefore, the nation faces a risk of being at a disadvantage due to the oil dependency. This vulnerability might jeopardize the independence to do the right thing during a terrorist attack due to the need to get oil from these countries.

Another major problem lies in the fact that these nations can raise the fuel price at any time, and since our country depends on them, it will have no choice but to deliver the amount they ask. The government needs to come up with more efficient means of getting oil, so we could have more affordable energy. Energy power provides everything that makes modern life that we lead possible. The energy heats our homes, gives us the fuel for transportation, lights at night, and power for the machines that we can not do without on a daily basis. Therefore, a conclusion might be made that oil makes our lives better. When its price goes up, only a select few will manage to purchase it, thus making the life of people strenuous. Affordable oil makes the economy more efficient, lowers the cost of goods and saves America a lot of money (Furman & Sperling, 2013). When the US chooses the option of drilling for shale oil in its own territory, it will save the government the money it spends on foreign countries for importing oil, thus lowering the cost of oil prices. We all know that the cost of importation leads to the increase of the price of a product, but when the product is from homeland, its price goes down.

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The Rise in Purchase of Cars

America has reached the level where almost everyone owns a car, and the fuel consumption continues to go up. With the drilling for oil within the country, the government will not have difficulties in providing billions of car owners with the oil they need because it will be affordable. Also, cheap oil is crucial to the developed economy like ours since its low domestic energy helps to keep the jobs, lowering the cost of goods production and services rendering.

Drilling for Shale Oil within the USA versus Importing Oil from Canada

While we long for more independence and stability, the importation of the oil from Canada threatens this course of action. This situation resembles coming out of one form of slavery and leading ourselves into another one instead of freeing ourselves completely. The country will still be dependent on another country, at the same time failing to diminish the cost of importation. Importing oil from Canada requires the usage of natural gas which at the moment the US economy is in high need of (Varchaver, Lustargen, & Mero, 2004). Using the gas from Canada will lead to the deficiency in other critical areas, such as electrical plantations. Therefore, oil drilling in the US stands out as the best solution to the problem because it does not limit the existence of other areas.

Drilling for Shale Oil within the USA versus Investing in Non-Oil Sources of Energy

Non-oil sources of energy seem appealing in our current predicament where we try to eradicate the dependency on oil from the unstable countries. The government has a mission of reducing oil-powered transportation by a percentage close to forty by the year 2025 (Levi, Parry, Perl, Weiss, & Johnson, 2010). The wind energy seems appealing because it conserves the environment; however, it can only extend to a certain limit. The production of wind power can never reach the capacity required for catering to the needs of most Americans. Therefore, we will always suffer from the deficiency of the energy. Also, the use of wind power is only marginally better than using oil. Furthermore, manufacturing wind energy becomes expensive as the time goes by, unlike in the past. Drilling shale oil from the USA is inherently cheaper and more affordable than trying to generate wind energy. Also, the wind power will not always be plentiful. Therefore, it does not provide the reliability that drilling oil within our country provides.

Drilling for Shale Oil within the USA versus Drilling for Oil Offshore

There is a reason as to why the Congress has banned the drilling of oil from beneath the bottom of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Though people argue that the oil is enough to lead the US away from the dependence on foreign suppliers, there are many side effects involved. The Congress refused to drill the oil from the coasts of the United States because they knew of the environmental consequences this action would bring (Kuhr, 2014). There are many potential environmental hazards such as sea bottom disturbances, drilling debris, air emissions, noise, oil spills that may occur due to oceanic analysis and drilling. All of these can impact the aquatic life, the residents around the area and the planet’s environment

Aside from the environmental degradation, gaining permission to drill and preparing for the work can take many years before actual implementation (Gallucci, 2016). The seismic testing in itself takes many years because it is essential to ensure that there are indeed natural resources residing under the surface of the earth. Currently, the nation does not need something that will take years to be implemented since the situation requires a quick solution. Also, due to the environmental downsides, it is impossible to predict if the country can get the permission it needs. The USA is in the quest of seeking independence from the dependency on oil from the Middle East countries. However, according to Gertz (2008), the government has not ascertained if there is enough oil in the coasts to cater adequately to the oil needs of the country.

Conclusion

Our nation suffers from its dependence on oil supplies from the unstable countries. This dependence puts the government in a very delicate position that requires an immediate solution. It has to secure the independence needed and also provide affordable living standards. All the options the government is considering do not provide a viable solution except for drilling the shale oil within the country. This action will not only make America independent, but it will also provide the cheapest means of acquiring oil, thereby helping the government save money as well as improve the living standards of the citizens.