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Natural Gas, Speech Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1263

Speech

The United States is in the midst of the horrendous problem. Of all crude oil and petroleum products, which the U.S. annually consumes, about 70% are being imported from other countries of the Western hemisphere and the Gulf region (EIA). The U.S. is the largest petroleum consumer in the world, and its dependency on the foreign oil generates serious complexities in other political, economic, and social domains. Oil dependency threatens American foreign policies and security. It does not leave any chance for the U.S. to promote and protect its national and international interests. Today, the U.S. dependency on the foreign oil is a disaster in the works, and there is only one way the country can choose to relieve the burden of oil dependency policies. Natural gas is the only means for the United States to solve the oil dependency problem.

That oil dependency is a serious policy issues for the U.S. is difficult to deny. The United States consumes more than 19 million barrels of crude oil per day (EIA). Of these, only 4-5 million barrels come directly from the U.S. (EIA). As a result, to support its economy and consumption, the country must import no less than 12-13 million barrels per day of refined petroleum products and crude oil (EIA). Of all crude oil and refined petroleum products, 50% come from the Western hemisphere, including Central America and the Caribbean, and about 20% come from the Persian Gulf countries (EIA). Canada and Saudi Arabia remain the largest sources of crude oil and petroleum products for America (EIA). Needless to say, such dependency on the foreign oil produces a multitude of negative effects on the state of the U.S. foreign policy and security and has far-reaching political implications.

With almost 70% of the U.S. crude oil and petroleum products imported from other countries, including the Gulf region, the United States digs itself even deeper into its own grave (Dye). First, the U.S. oil dependency provides the exporting countries with the necessary degree of flexibility to adopt policies that go against U.S. values and strategic interests (Deutch, Schlesinger & Victor 26). Second, “oil dependence causes political realignments that constrain the ability of the United States to form partnerships to achieve common objectives” (Deutch, Schlesinger & Victor 26). Third, oil dependency makes America increasingly vulnerable to the international market fluctuations, which reflect in higher prices and scarce supplies (Deutch, Schlesinger & Victor 27). Any significant interruption in oil supply will produce irreversibly negative social and political effects on the United States and other importing countries (Deutch, Schlesinger & Victor 27). More serious are the effects, which oil dependency produces to the national defense budget – having oil dependency reduced, the U.S. will no longer be interested in maintaining stability in the Middle East and thus, significant reductions in the U.S. military posture will follow (Deutch, Schlesinger & Victor 28). Today, oil dependency draws importing countries into increased military and political involvement with the Middle East, and the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf region constantly increases (Cochran, Mayer & Carr 125). To a large extent, military and defense expenses and policies can be fairly regarded as the by-products and the hidden costs of the U.S. dependency on foreign oil.

Natural gas is the best solution to the U.S. dependency problems. First, natural gas is the only domestic resource available today that can substitute for imported oil (Teague & Pickens). This solution is equally clean and plentiful: the continental territory of the United States hides natural gas in abundance (Teague & Pickens). The United States has 2,000 trillion cubic feet in natural gas reserves, which are enough for 118 years (Teague & Pickens). In other words, what America has in its natural gas reserves is even more than what Saudi Arabia has in its total oil reserves (Teague & Pickens). Second, the only way the U.S. can reduce its oil dependence is through reduced oil consumption (Feldstein, Oil Dependence and National Security), and natural gas provides virtually limitless opportunities for America to replace petroleum with compressed natural gas. Today, there are more than 100,000 CNG vehicles in the U.S., and all three major automobile companies sell cars that use CNG (Feldstein, Reducing America’s Dependence on Foreign Oil Supply 4). As a result, the United States has all conditions in place needed to make natural gas the basic source of its energy. Third, the availability of the newest technologies, including hydraulic fracturing and deepwater operation position natural gas as a cost-effective and the most reliable approach to oil dependency complexities (API).

Certainly, 100,000 CNG cars are less than 1 percent of the 181 million of vehicles, buses and trucks officially registered in the U.S. (Keane). Compared with 200,000 gas stations, the United States has only 1500 natural gas station in operation (CBS News). The cost of transforming any car into a natural gas vehicle will cost approximately $4000, and the estimated costs of the natural gas development are yet unknown (CBS News). All these, however, will reflect in long-term savings and will ultimately reduce the U.S. dependency on foreign oil. It is high time that the United States recognized the value of its domestic resources and used them to replace oil and, as a result, to reduce oil dependency. The use of natural gas will open new energy frontiers for the American nation. If used wisely, natural gas will become the source of the U.S. strategic advantage for years ahead.

Conclusion

The U.S. dependence on foreign oil is a disaster at works: of 19 million barrels per day of crude oil, the United States imports almost 70%. Such dependency on foreign oil gives other countries strategic policy advantages, constrains the U.S. in its ability to form effective partnerships, and makes the U.S. extremely vulnerable to international market fluctuations. Any interruption of oil supply will become a disaster for the U.S. Oil dependency readily reflects in higher military expenses and draws America into increased presence in the Middle East region. Natural gas is the best and, for now, the only solution to the U.S. oil dependency problem. The United States has these resources in abundance and can successfully replace petroleum with compressed gas. With all necessary technologies in place, the U.S. can readily turn natural gas into the source of its strategic advantage for years ahead.

Works Cited

API. “Natural Gas Is America’s New Energy Frontier”, Api.org. American Petroleum Institute, 15 January 2007. Web. 07 April 2010.

CBS News. “Editorial: Natural Gas Would Lessen US Oil Dependency”, CBS News. CBS News, 14 November 2008. Web. 07 April 2010.

Cochran, C.E., Mayer, L.C. & Carr, T.R. American Public Policy: An Introduction. Cengage Learning, 2008.

Deutch, J., Schlesinger, J.R. & Victor, D.G. “National Security Consequences of U.S. Oil Dependency”, Council on Foreign Relations. Council of Foreign Relations, 2007. Web. 07 April 2010.

Dye, L. “US: Foreign Oil Dependency: Stuck Between a Rock and Hard Place”, Energy  Bulletin.net. Energy Bulletin, 27 July 2004. Web. 07 April 2010.

EIA. “How Dependent Are We on Foreign Oil?”, U.S. Energy Information Administration.  U.S. Energy Information Administration, 10 December 2009. Web. 07 April 2010.

Feldstein, M. “Reducing America’s Dependence on Foreign Oil Supplies”, NBER.org. The National Bureau of Economic Research, 3 December, 2003. Web. 07 April 2010.

Feldstein, M. “Oil Dependence and National Security: A Market-Based System for Reducing U.S. Vulnerability”, NBER.org. National Bureau of Economic Research, October 2001. Web. 07 April 2010.

Keane, E. “Why Natural Gas Vehicles Won’t Decrease Oil Dependence”, First Enercast  Financial. First Enercast Financial, n.d. Web. 07 April 2010.

Teague, H. & Pickens, T.B. “Op-Ed: Natural Gas Could Cut Oil Dependence”, Congressman  Harry Teague. Congressman Harry Teague, 20 September 2009. Web. 07 April 2010.

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