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America's Dependence on Fossil Fuels

In early1991, the crisis in the Middle East involving the Iraqui invasion of Kuwait has not only given the American people the war jitters, it has also brought home once again just how dependent the United States is on foreign supplies of energy. Further, the crisis has reminded Americans for the first time since the defeat of Jimmy Carter in the 1980 general election that the country is far too dependent upon fossil fuels for its energy (Holden, 1990, pp. 156163).

The Arab crude oil embargo of 1973, together with the continual price escalations for crude oil from 1973 to 1977, led the Carter Administration to implement several programs to develop alternative sources of energy, which would both free the United States from its dependence upon foreign energy sources, and free the country from a dependence on fossil fuels for its energy. The advent of the Reagan Administration in 1981 brought an end to these program. Some of the results of the Reagan Administration initiatives in this area (which have not been reversed by the Bush Administration) are (1) a greater dependence on foreign energy sources than that which existed in 1980, (2) a greater dependence on fossil fuels for energy than that which existed in 1980, (3) increased environmental damage from energy use from that which existed in 1980 (Lee, 1990, p. 13), and (4) 10 wasted years in the context of alternative energy research, which has caused the United States to slip from leadership in this area of research to a position of third place behind the Germans and the Japanese (Nichols, 1990, p. 15).

A growing population which demands more energy if the quality of life and the level of economic activity is to be maintained, a steadily deteriorating physical environment, and unstable foreign sources of fossil fuels demand that, in the decade of the 1990s, the United States develop acceptable domestic alternative energy sources to both foreign and domestic fossil fuel so...

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America's Dependence on Fossil Fuels. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:41, March 22, 2019, from