When people use the word addiction, they are generally referring to a strong desire for something harmful. Something negative… like heroin for example. So when speaking about America’s dependence on oil, the myth is more embedded in using the term “addicted”. America’s use of oil is not an irrational desire for something harmful, but more accurately described as the use of a natural resource to provide positive, life-sustaining benefits. At this point, no other energy source compares to oil when it comes to being a safe, and affordable source of portable energy. And not only our lifestyle, but our lives depend on such a source of energy.
Here are just a few things oil provides for us…
- Oil is the power source for most farm equipment that brings us supermarkets full of food.
- Oil is the power source for mobile machinery that we use to harvest and extract raw materials such as iron, lumber, uranium, and natural gas.
- Oil powers construction equipment for building new office buildings, factories, and homes.
- Oil facilitates the use of hundreds of millions of vehicles (including your car) to move people, materials, and products around the world.
- Oil is also the key raw material ingredient for thousands of different petroleum products such as the carpet in your living room, the insulation inside your walls, or even the synthetic rubber that makes the tires on your car.
Do we consume a lot of oil? Yes. But to use the word addiction would be a misstatement. We’re not addicted. We maximize its value to provide the wonderful standard of living that we enjoy today.