Unformatted text preview: 4.2.3 U.S. HIST. SEM. 2
- Biodiesel is not a petroleum product.
Plastic and styrofoam are made from petroleum by-products.
- A glass lightbulb is not made from petroleum products.
Candles, crayons, and beauty products are all made from petroleum products. ( Paraffin
wax is not just a fuel . it is found in many household products . )
The oil reserves in the Arabian Desert would become one of America’s largest sources
for oil. OIL RESERVES
- - By the 1960s, many of the easily-found underground oil reserves (pockets of oil under
the ground) in the United States were beginning to dry up. Americans used more oil than
U.S. oil fields produced. The oil reserves in the Arabian Desert would become one of
America’s largest sources for oil.
Oil prices are influenced by a balance between the supply and the global use of oil. As
countries like India and China demand more oil for their developing economies, the
global demand for oil goes up. The price of oil also goes up if production of oil does not
also rise. CUTTING BACK ON OIL USE
- - Oil is bought and sold on a global market. Nations that sell a lot of oil have the most
influence over the global price of oil. For instance, the Organization of Petroleum
Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) includes some of the world's biggest
producers of oil, and they can cause the price of oil to go up by deciding to produce less
Because demand for oil tends to go up over time, and because oil reserves have limits,
the price of oil has steadily risen over time. New technologies such as nuclear fusion
may someday replace oil as the world's main energy source, but for now the U.S. has
taken steps to find new oil and other energy reserves and to conserve oil. U.S. Oil Dependence
- - - In 1973 the United States' dependence on foreign products created a crisis. Outraged
over U.S. military support for Israel, the Arab members of OPEC decided to cut their oil
production and refused to sell oil to the United States.
This action created chaos in the United States, which relied largely on foreign oil
because America produced insufficient oil to meet its own demand. Oil prices jumped
400 percent, and American consumers were forced to wait hours in long lines to buy
The increase in oil prices led the U.S. government to ration oil until 1976. Perhaps more
importantly, it forced Americans to consider the potential costs of relying on other parts
of the world to supply the United States with vital resources. - OPEC: Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, formed in 1960.
Twelve member nations making decisions together on policies that would be in
their best interest for keeping the world's oil market stable. NUCLEAR POWER An Energy Alternative that Needs Careful Management
- - In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave a speech called “Atoms for Peace,”
describing a world brought together by research into peaceful uses for nuclear power.
The next year, the first nuclear power plants were built in England and the USSR, and
soon construction began in the United States as well. By 2008, there were 104 U.S.
nuclear power plants, providing 20 percent of the country's energy needs.
But nuclear power is difficult to capture, and even more difficult to control. Nuclear fission
(breaking apart atoms) creates radioactive material. Exposure to radiation can cause
diseases like cancer. There are also difficulties in safely disposing of radioactive waste. THREE MILE ISLAND
- - - In 1979, the nation’s developing trust in nuclear power was tested at Three Mile Island ,
a nuclear plant in Pennsylvania. An accident released radioactive material into the area.
Thousands of people lived just miles away, and many were ordered to move. But a much
worse situation could have resulted — and the public knew it.
Use of nuclear energy remains a hotly debated issue. Nuclear disasters in Russia and in
Japan released massive amounts of radiation into the air, which raised safety questions
around the world. The Obama administration released a statement saying it "continues
to support the expansion of nuclear power in the United States, despite the crisis in
Three Mile Island: A Pennsylvania power plant run by nuclear energy. In 1979, an
accident caused a partial meltdown of the nuclear core. A small amount of radioactive
gas was released. Strong public reaction and fear put an end to the further development
of nuclear power plants in America. Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy
- Since 1952, there have been at least 56 significant accidents at nuclear power plants in
the United States. There were nine deaths directly related to these accidents; it is difficult
to say how many more deaths were caused indirectly. There are both pros and cons for
nuclear energy. While fuel costs are cheap, there are risks that put people and the
environment in danger. POSITIVES :
- Cost of fuel is very low
Very little air pollution
Fuel is easy to move, so there is less pollution from shipping
Proper control can ensure safe handling NEGATIVES : - Spent fuel is dangerous if handled incorrectly
Cost to build is very high
Most plants can only operate for 30 – 40 years.
Meltdowns can lead to catastrophic release of radiation and environmental issues GREEN ENERGY
- Finding sustainable energy sources has led to great advances in "green" energy. Green
energy sources do not require burning materials, so they release no pollution into the air. WIND
- Wind power has been used for centuries. Turning wind into a commercial electricity
source requires wind turbines large enough to catch strong, constant winds. Because
these enormous structures can be seen for miles, many communities do not want them
nearby. However, wind “farms” have grown up in many areas of the United States. Hydroelectric power
- Many rivers are used to turn hydroelectric turbines. Though hydroelectric power provides
more energy than any other green source, hydroelectric dams block shipping and and
the movement of animal life. This means they have both a commercial and
environmental effect. Solar
- The sun provides a lot of energy, but using it as a power source has been a struggle.
Solar energy can be turned into electricity, but the equipment is expensive and requires
a lot of maintenance. Solar technology is improving, but most large-scale solar projects
involve heating water and are usually limited to desert areas. Also, since solar plants
only operate during the day, a back-up system must be used at night. Hummers and Hybrids
- The 1990s were a time of great wealth. The end of the Cold War had put America as the
leading military and economic power, and business was booming. Oil prices had
dropped since the late 1970s, but, Americans were still spending a lot on oil because
they wanted to drive large sport utility vehicles, or SUVs. It was not the first time
Americans had used their cars as status symbols, and many would be sorry they bought
them when the economy stopped growing.
- Cold War : The political conflict and military tension between the Soviet Union
and the Western powers, especially the United States. It was called the "Cold
War" because actual war between the two countries never broke out. It lasted
from the end of World War II until the government of the Soviet Union fell apart in
1991. NEED FOR OIL - - - The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that destroyed New York’s World Trade
Center, part of the Pentagon, and led to the crash of United Flight 93, changed American
foreign and military policy.
The economic impact of the attacks was immediately apparent. The cost of oil went up
fast and continued to climb, particularly after the United States attacked Iraq in 2003.
Americans were concerned about their safety, but also about the rising price of oil.
“Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported
from unstable parts of the world,” President George W. Bush said. He responded by
looking for an end to this need for oil. Bush’s 2006 State of the Union address described
plans for both research in and government aid for alternative energy solutions. He talked
about wind and solar energy as well as “clean coal.” This was a big change for a
president who had worked for an oil company before becoming president. Exxon-Valdez
- On March 24, 1989, the Exxon-Valdez, an enormous oil tanker, ran aground on a reef in
Prince William Sound, Alaska, dumping nearly eleven million gallons of crude oil into the
sound. The oil covered the coastline of a national forest, devastating wildlife. Though it
was not the largest oil-related disaster in American history, images of affected wildlife
helped make it one of the most publicized events in ihe history of the oil industry. Deepwater Horizon
- On April 20, 2010, there was an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, owned by
British Petroleum. The resulting spill threatened the diverse ecosystem of the Gulf of
Mexico, threatening commercial fishing throughout the states that border it, and
temporarily halting oil production in the region, crucial for many of these states'
economies. The spill revealed the dangers of offshore drilling, a controversial
environmental issue, and led Americans to question whether oil companies should be
allowed to manage such hazardous operations ...
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- Fall '17
- US History