Alternative fuels lead to alternative life styles

Laura Chau

 In the wake of two major catastrophic oil spills in the same year, the United States should focus on lowering our dependence on oil by switching to alternative fuels.

The U.S. tops the charts at oil consumption, using more than 20,500,000 barrels a day, as opposed to China who takes third place at a little more than 7,578,000 barrels a day.
 
The mass desire for oil is taking a toll on “Mother Nature” and our country’s budget.
 
According to americanprogress.org, oil imports are widening our deficit.
 
Dependence on oil also harms the earth by way of oil spills and increased global warming.
 
Since oil will eventually run out, we must find a new source of energy, one that will invest money back into the country, is renewable, and will not be toxic to the Earth.
    
There are a couple alternative fuel sources such as biodiesel and hydrogen, but ethanol reaps the most benefits as an effective substitute for gasoline.
 
Ethanol is harvested from crops such as corn, barley and wheat. Cultivating these crops in the U.S. for fuel puts money back into the country.
 
A typical 40 million gallon ethanol plant creates 32 full-time jobs and generates an additional $1.2 million in tax revenue for a community, according to ethanolfacts.com.
 
Ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline does, and farms used for cultivating ethanol decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Ethanol is relatively low in cost, is widely available, and most importantly, it is renewable.
 
Of course, there are things we can do to help ease the nation’s dependence on oil. By riding a bike or walking more often, we use less gas, save money, lose weight, and increase our overall happiness. Not to mention riding your bike to school always guarantees you great parking and prevents that early morning school parking lot headache.