Energy security is a complex issue, which directly influences the national politics and economic conditions of the state. Moreover, to a great extent, it establishes and defines the international relations, peculiarities of trading, security mechanisms, and environmental attitudes of the country, on the global level. Currently, the U.S.. has several opportunities, which could increase its energy security and eliminate the energy deficit, emerging in recent years. However, a deeper insight into the essence of different options of energy security shows that not all of them are valid and reliable in the case with the U.S. Therefore, the current paper aims to discuss various options of energy security in the U.S. and to prove that the investments into non-oil sources of energy are the best way for the USA to achieve energy security.
Opportunities of Investments into Non-Oil Energy Sources
To start with, the usage of non-oil energy sources is environmentally safe and clean. Renewable energy does not contribute to the emergence of the greenhouse effect and the pollution of the atmosphere and waters (Delmas, & Montes-Sancho, 2011). Moreover, its usage does not lead to the emissions of CO2 and other toxic substances, which significantly threaten the quality of air and the protection of nature. In these terms, the application of non-oil energy sources is a possibility to improve the state of ecology, demonstrate the ethical attitude to the environment, and increase the quality of the natural surroundings, which, in its turn, leads to the improvement of people’s health and living conditions.
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Speaking about the environmental impacts, the investment in non-oil energy is the only possible solution, which does not harm the ecology. Thus, drilling for oil offshore can cause significant threats to the wholeness and security of marine ecosystems. The case with the drilling in the Gulf of Mexico shows that the excessive usage of natural resources can cause an environmental catastrophe and contribute to the effects of climate change (Galloway, et al., 2011). Moreover, drilling for oil within or outside the USA always threatens technological or production failures, which will inevitably change the structure and capacities of the ecological systems. In this respect, even the mere imparting of oil from other countries (like Canada) looks unethical and unjustified, since it also supports the increase of the environmental dangers and risks (Delmas, & Montes-Sancho, 2011). Therefore, from the point of view of ecology, investing in non-oil sources of energy is the most appropriate and relevant option for the U.S.
Secondly, non-oil sources of energy are mostly renewable and never-ending. Wind and solar energy, the power of moving waters, and waves create opportunities for the unlimited usage of energy without any noticeable or significant drawbacks (Wüstenhagen, & Menichetti, 2012). From this standpoint, the investment into non-oil energy sources can stop the problem of the energy deficit and provide sufficient amounts for the whole country. That is a strategic component of the energy policies since the number of the U.S. population tends to increase, with the consumption of energy rising (Schmalensee, 2012). In these terms, the government needs to introduce sufficient, affordable, and available energy sources to guarantee adequate living conditions and eradicate the problem of energy deficiency.
Considering the problem of energy deficiency, the shift to non-oil energy sources is an optimal decision. The matter is that drilling for the oil offshores or importing it from Canada does not solve the problem of oil supplies and their gradual exhaustion (Schmalensee, 2012). The other sources of energy, such as coal and gas are also non-renewable, meaning that their usage can apply and be beneficial only to a certain point. As a result, it is possible to assume that investing in non-oil sources of energy is the strategically right solution, which strongly contributes to the solution of the energy limitations and deficiency within the country.
Thirdly, the investment into non-oil energy sources provides significant opportunities for the economic prosperity and growth of the U.S. The experience of the European countries, such as the U.K. and Germany, proves that the shift to renewable energy sources highly contributes to the creation of new working places, stabilization of the energy prices, and the reduction of costs of the energy usage (Yildirim, Saraç, & Aslan, 2012). The establishment of the infrastructure for non-oil energy sources indeed demands high investments and financial funding, which should be arranged and agreed upon on the governmental level. However, the further implementation and usage of renewable energy are much cheaper in comparison with the traditional energy sources (Popp, Hascic, & Medhi, 2011). Moreover, the renewability of non-oil energy sources allows stabilizing the prices for the energy consumption, as it presupposes the long-term, constant utilization of the existed infrastructure (Yildirim, Saraç, & Aslan, 2012). In this light, the investment into non-oil energy sources can boast the economic benefits and reduce the dependence on the oil prices, installed on the global level.
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When speaking about the other opportunities of increasing energy security in the U.S., it is essential to admit that they can also contribute to economic growth. Particularly, the drilling for the oil offshore is also conducive to the formation of new working places and the establishment of business relations with the national manufacturers, regarding the equipment and technology of the process of drilling (Skogdalen, & Vinnem, 2012). Analogically, the import of oil from Canada creates many facilities for the improvement of the trading relationships and the creation of international contracts and treaties. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the long-term consumption of the oil sources of energy may be quite unpredictable, in terms of its economic value. While renewable energy sources provide stability of prices and utilization, the situation with oil energy may change due to the deficit of its supplies and difficulties with the drilling (Popp, Hascic, & Medhi, 2011). Thus, investing in non-oil energy sources creates relatively better opportunities for economic stability and growth, in comparison with the other methods.
In addition, investment into non-oil energy sources contributes to the energetic independence of the U.S., in general. The establishment of the appropriate infrastructure and shift to renewable energy will eliminate the state's dependence on nonrenewable energy sources and reduce the amount of importing oil. Furthermore, this strategy may guarantee the absence of external control over energy usage, since the U.S. will become the only interested party in the issues of its renewable energy (Popp, Hascic, & Medhi, 2011). This issue remains quite important, considering the deficit of the natural supplies of oil, gas, and coal and the changes in international relations and politics, which are taking place worldwide. To secure the appropriate level of energy production, the U.S. has to be certain of its capacities without seeking external ways to trigger its energy security.
In comparison, the other options of energy security do not provide such benefits, concerned with national security and energy independence. The import of oil calls for regular business, commercial, trading, and diplomatic relationships with the other countries, which may lead to the constant changes in the prices for oil and conditions of its transportation and usage (Skogdalen, & Vinnem, 2012). Similarly, the drilling for oil offshore outside the U.S. threatens to meet the resistance of the local citizens and protests of the environmental and nationalistic activists. The situation remains true to the offshore drilling within the U.S., as it is also a quite uncertain type of energy production, taking into consideration the restrictions of the oil supplies and methods of their acquisition. From this point of view, the other options for the increase of the U.S. energy security do not help to achieve national energetic independence and stability.
Finally, the shift to non-oil energy sources will strongly contribute to the renovation of the state's technological improvements and modernization (Yildirim, Saraç, & Aslan, 2012). The usage of renewable energy sources boasts faster economic growth and is instrumental in economic modernization, as seen in the examples of the Western European countries. The installation of new energetic equipment, construction of ecologically safe mechanisms of energy production, and renovation of the energy system are important steps to the improvement of the existing economic structure and amplification of the economic strength and capacities (Yildirim, Saraç, & Aslan, 2012). On the contrary, the import of oil or its offshore drilling does not provide many capacities for the qualitative transformation of the present energetic infrastructure. Besides, the majority of the equipment and technologies do not meet the fast rates of the economic development and demands of the market (Skogdalen, & Vinnem, 2012). In these terms, the investment into non-oil energy sources is the only possible solution for the modernization of energetic economics.
To sum up, the investment in non-oil energy sources is the best way for the USA to achieve energy security. In comparison with the other methods, the shift to renewable energy sources provides significant opportunities and benefits. Thus, the usage of non-oil energy sources highly contributes to the protection of the environment, economic growth, modernization of the energetic infrastructure, and elimination of the national dependence on the energy sources. Overall, this option allows stabilizing the energy market within the US and create favorable conditions for the safe and table usage of the energy.