Currently, America is experiencing a fossil fuel feast. Not only is American coal mining experiencing a revival, but also, the petroleum industry just got a boost from a new oil find in Alaska.
“Spanish oil company Repsol SA said on Thursday [03/09/17] that it had discovered a giant oil field in Alaska, a potential find big enough to help stem production declines in the state. Repsol said two wells drilled this winter with Denver-based partner Armstrong Oil & Gas, Inc. indicate that recent discoveries in an area that lies between existing operations in the state’s North Slope could hold as much as 1.2 billion barrels of oil.”
Should Americans celebrate these achievements in the fossil-fuel industry?
Yes, fossil fuels are non-renewable fuels, which is why the Earth’s supply will eventually run out.
Still, I see no reason why Humans shouldn’t be using the stuff while it is still available.
I’d say that it would be foolish not to use fossil fuels while they are still available.
Residents of the USA’s northeast still need fuel oil to stay warm during frigid weather. Electric furnaces can’t provide sufficient heat for people in the coldest regions of the nation, and people living in those regions can’t simply pack up and move to warmer areas.*
People living in warmer regions aren’t in much better shape. American engineer and architect John Van Doren writes, “Our building codes and energy standards were conceived in the context of cheap and abundant fossil fuels. For the most part, we have built thinly insulated and poorly constructed homes believing that cheap energy was an infinite commodity that could be exploited for generations to come.”
In short, Americans just aren’t ready for life without fossil fuels. So, bring on the coal and the discoveries of more crude oil while scientists, engineers and architects figure out how future Americans will live without the stuff.
*Regarding the use of electricity to heat homes, the Maytag HVAC website states that an electric heating system “May have to strain to reach heating demand (in some areas), particularly if you are pairing an air handler with an air conditioner.”
The Airforce Heating & Air company of LaGrange, Georgia states, “When outdoor temperatures are frigid, an electric heating system may sometimes struggle to maintain a high indoor temperature.”
The Hatton’s HVAC company of Tennessee gives this warning: “Electric units are best for warmer climates. Once it gets cold, they have to work harder to produce heat and will never get quite as warm as a gas unit will. With electric heating, you may even find that the air is cold at the beginning and end of the air’s cycle. Many people will end up having to get some sort of backup heat to keep the house warm during harsh winter temperatures.”