The Fossil Fuel of the Future

Tim Hicks, Section Editor

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In 2011, the United States produced 5490.63 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in that year alone. Although our annual CO2 emissions have declined to 5,334 million metric tons in a matter of about three years, the US still produces the third most carbon dioxide per year (only less than China) and the country as a whole hasn’t seemed to put an effort to convert to renewable energy. However, there are many options a person can take to convert from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Solar and wind energy are all examples of clean, renewable energy. The only flaw with these sources of energy is that they are both unreliable. In an area with little to no wind or sunlight (such as Roseburg at this time of year) there are not enough of the necessary elements, so people would have to resort to different sources of energy depending on where they live. There are many forms of energy that may be cleaner and more efficient than fossil fuels, but are there any reliable sources of energy that is available to us? There are two sources of energy that I believe we should move onward with: geothermal and hydrogen energy.

Geothermal energy may also be an equally efficient source of energy, but it can only be used in a few areas, and is more limited than solar and wind energy in terms of where it can be exploited. Hydrogen, however, is probably the best source of energy in terms of reliability and many people have access to hydrogen as well. It is the simplest and most abundant element in the universe. Altenergy.org has noted that hydrogen can be burned as a fuel, and since the only product of combustion is water, it can be used to reduce pollution in cities as well. We have even gotten the ability to produce hydrogen recently using solar power, which means that hydrogen is a renewable source of energy.

I believe that, within ten years, the country should move from fossil fuels to hydrogen. Compared to fossil fuels, hydrogen is better in every way, as it is cleaner, more efficient, and can actually be produced.   

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The Fossil Fuel of the Future