Oil dependency is coming to an end! Alternative energy is taking over! Renewable energy will be the number one source of fuel! These are just some common expressions that you will find in different news outlets and from the voice of environmentalists who would like nothing more than to see crude oil drilling and usage come to an end. There is no denying that we live in a more environmentally friendly and conscious world where everyone is trying to do their part to clean up the air and not generate as much contamination as we were generating over the last couple of decades and especially throughout the previous one. The truth of the matter is that oil dependency is anything but dwindling. Suzzanne Uhland is here to provide some insight as to why that is.
1 . Oil lobbying is still going on strong
According to OpenSecrets.org, the oil industry spent a little over 119 million dollars on lobbying Congress for oil policies that would favor the industry. So far in 2018, that same industry has spent almost 65 million dollars with plenty more on the horizon. As long as companies continue to pony up the cash to have their interests lobbied in Congress, there is a good chance oil dependency will continue to be as strong as ever.
2. Oil market is projected to have steady rises until at least 2022
That’s right. For the foreseeable future, the oil market and oil production are expected to grow steadily, according to International Energy Agency’s Oil 2017 Analysis and Forecasts 2022 Executive Summary. Despite recent agreements to curb production, the oil industry will continue to stock up their inventory and there are expectations for investments in the oil industry to grow given how operating costs have dropped in recent years.
3. Developing countries do not have the resources to change oil dependency
Going from fossil fuels and oil to solar, wind, or other clean energy types take a considerable amount of investment. The monetary aspect of energy change is enough to deter most developing nations from investing. In order to make such an investment, countries would surely need to either increase their international debt or cut the national budget on important sectors such as education and health. That would create more political tension in countries where the political scenario is already pretty tense, and with that in mind, developing countries would shy away from investing in policies that would alter their dependency on oil.
4. Oil continues to shape the global political landscape
Venezuela’s current crisis has made a profound impact on global politics. Enough to sway oil prices and give Russia a whole lot more power in the Western Hemisphere. Oh, you’re not buying it? In case you have forgotten, here’s a little refresher course. About a month ago, Russia acquired a significant amount of oil assets in Venezuela in order for Maduro to fund his government. That deal gave Russia a controlling interest in Venezuelan oil and from here on out, the United States will have to deal with Putin if they want to keep receiving oil from Venezuela. Another example is what happened after 9/11 where the war on terror concentrated on oil rich countries which had nothing to do directly with the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers. Bottom line, whoever controls oil, has the power to change politics on a global scale.
5. Oil doesn’t just fuel our cars, but our lives.
Oil is turned into the gasoline which fuels our vehicles; everyone knows that. What many don’t know is that a lot of everyday products derived from petroleum. Cleaning products. Fabrics. Food. Medicine. Some of them come from oil, and as long as we continue to use them or consume them in the amounts we do, there will always be a market for oil as raw material. In order to reduce the market for oil, someone must invent alternatives which are valid substitutes. Until that moment comes, oil is here to stay.
As you can see, oil dependency is a long way from coming to an end. The near future is one where we still depend highly on crude, from fueling our rides to some of the things we eat. Governments will continue to use as leverage that could determine what happens and who is in control. For those nations which are oil dependent, a drop in their dealings with crude oil and its derivatives means a drop in national investments and progress. Sure, there are efforts by some to make sure we become less dependent on black gold and there have been strides regarding those efforts, but the reality is that not everyone can afford the alternatives. The task at hand is to use oil for whatever is necessary without overdoing it. It’s a call to the responsible use of oil.
* Featured Image courtesy of Pixabay at Pexels.com