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Common Ground

In: English and Literature

Submitted By hoef23
Words 1818
Pages 8
Robert Hoefer
Professor Arenson
English 101
17 July 2012
Common Ground Essay The first commercial coal mine in America was started in the 1748. ("History of US Coal Use.") The first commercial oil well in the United States was drilled in 1859. (Yergin, 7) These two fossil fuels were the power behind the American Industrial Revolution, and wealth behind Edward Berwind and John Rockefeller(Brinkley, 435), respectively, that continue to provide power and fuel in present day society. Natural gas is another fossil fuel that helps to provide for the needs of today. Oil, coal, and gas companies tout new technologies that make their products cleaner and safer for the environment. Opponents of fossil fuels say there is no way to burn them cleanly. Proponents for fossil fuels believe there are plenty of reserves to keep America running on fossil fuels for years to come. Advocates for newer technologies, “green” technologies, such as solar power, geothermal energy, and biofuels claim that the time to move on from these fossil fuels has arrived. The new energy sources claim to be renewable so as to never run out. (E.g., the sun would have to supernova for solar power to run out.) They believe the point of “Peak Oil”- the point at which worldwide oil production begins to decline, has already passed and the country will need their new technologies to keep pace during the changing of the energy guard. There are many lenses through which to look at the use of all these energy sources. The end of the debate as to which ones are best has no end in sight. A main focus of the fossil fuel debate is how safe they are for the environment. Coal mining is not easy on the land. Nearly 70 percent of all coal extracted in the United States is done using the surface mining technique- also known as strip mining.(“Coal Mining”) This technique requires any surface soil and…...

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