Nergy Sources in the 21st Century: Is oil shale the energy source to power Americas future?
Energy Sources in the 21st Century: Is oil shale the energy source to power Americai??s future?
The majority of the energy consumed in the United States to power our homes, cars, and industry comes from fossil fuel sources like oil, coal, and natural gas. Renewable sources, like wind and solar, constitute a very small percentage of the total.
Despite calls for more domestic drilling and new sources of energy, Americai??s reliance on foreign oil has climbed steadily in recent years, from 44.5% of total consumption in 1995 to 57% in 2010. The US burns through 19.5 million barrels of oil a day, one quarter of world consumption and more than China, Japan, India and Russia combined. Something to consider regarding our oil dependency: every American man, woman & child uses 2.7 gallons of oil a day (U.S. Energy Information Administration).
There has been a major call to reduce Americai??s dependence on foreign oil while others demand America use less oil in general. Several sources of energy have been getting widespread press recently as alternatives to foreign oil including so-called i??cleani?? coal and oil shale. For your second paper, you will explore oil shale. Can domestic sources of oil gathered from oil shale replace our reliance on foreign oil?
In your paper, you need to address all the topics below to develop a context within which to answer the above question. The questions given after each topic are meant to guide your research but are not meant to limit it.
(1) Oil Shale. What is it? How are the deposits formed? How is oil shale different from oil? How much does the U.S. have? How is it processed? How much energy is required to produce fuel from oil shale vs. other techniques?
(2) Transportation. Where are the deposits located? Are they close to major cities, ports, train tracks, etc.? Does the U.S. already have infrastructure to transport large amounts of oil shale for processing or will it need to be built?
(3) Environmental factors. How environmentally friendly is the extraction of oil shale? How environmentally friendly is the processing of oil shale? What are the impacts of extracting the oil shale? Is domestic oil shale a plausible replacement to foreign oil? Is it more feasible on a long or short term scale?
(4) Economic factors. What does it cost to extract and process oil shale? How does that cost compare to that of importing foreign oil? Is it more feasible on a long or short term scale?
Again, this topic is intentionally wide open. We would like to see what sources, information, and direction you take with this paper. Iti??s part of doing research. Blogs and Wikipedia doni??t count, and semi-informed and hyper-opinionated sources should be avoided. Try to find the most up-todate sites possible i?? we will visit each of your references, so make sure they are reputable and full of good information. Spend the proper amount of time looking for good sources and make sure you reference them properly in your text. Try not to depend on just one good reference i?? using all references roughly equally will look good to us as we read them. This paper should be an insightful analysis of the United Statesi?? oil shale reserves and their usefulness in alleviating Americai??s energy dependence.
The paper should be double-spaced with 1i?? margins i?? use a 12 font. Build your paper using as many references as you find necessary. You must have at least 4 references (more is fine too). You must use one journal article for each website that you use as a reference. So if you use 2 websites, you must have 2 articles. If 3 websites, then 3 articles. Wei??ll accept articles from mainstream science journals, but wei??ll also accept articles that you may have found from Scientific American, Discover, American Scientist or other similar popular journals. The i??References Citedi?? section constitutes part of page 5 of your paper (doni??t leak into 6 pages). This paper is due at the beginning of your discussion during the week of March 2-6.
Please be sure to read the instructions for writing term papers in the GEL 1 discussion at WritingGEL1papers.pdf. Following these guidelines is imperative for getting a good grade and learning to be a coherent writer.
Here are some websites that will help you get started with your research. Note that you may not use Wikipedia as a reference, but you may certainly use the references cited on Wikipedia. Be sure to reference any information cited in your paper