On this Valentine’s Day, it seems we must pay tribute to our one and only true love: oil.
The United States is heavily dependent on oil, consuming roughly 18-19 million barrels a day, 45% of which comes from foreign countries. Being dependent on oil hurts the U.S. in many ways: whether or not we become self-sufficient in oil production, we are still vulnerable to world oil prices. Oil is also a major contributor to our greenhouse gas emissions; of the 82% of greenhouse gases that come from fossil fuels, oil accounts for 42%.
In the United States, oil is mainly used for transportation – it accounts for 93% of energy used in the transportation sector, leaving us with no alternatives to oil.
Is there another suitor for the United States? Happily so; renewable fuels. Renewable fuels can come from ethanol, algae, vegetable oil, and many other sources. These energy sources are much less harmful to the environment and can leave the U.S. more energy secure.
The oil industry is however, an enormous industry with deep pockets and powerful allies. As Fuels America jokes: they have a “monopoly on the hearts of millions of people.” This Valentine’s Day, Fuels America, (one of ASP’s partner organizations), released a video making light of our dependence on oil.
While it is nice to laugh about the oil industry, the threat our oil dependence poses to our environment and our national security is very real. To protect these critical interests, the U.S. needs to take advantage of cleaner forms of energy and lessen our dependence on oil.
To read more on ASP’s work on biofuels click here