Fossil-fuels greatly contribute to the world’s global warming, smog, and other environmental problems. Development of alternative fuel sources has prompted individuals and companies to use fewer fossil fuels within the last 10 years; using alternative fuels benefits the environment in many ways. Humanity has an obligation to the environment and to the future generations to explore as many fuel options possible.
Alternative fuel is derived from resources other than oil-based fuels; some produced domestically, plunging dependence on imported oil, and some made from renewable sources. Often they produce less pollution than gasoline or diesel. The two biggest advantages to using alternative fuels are: Creating cleaner burning fuels that will not pollute or poison the atmosphere and stopping America’s dependence on foreign oil. The need to import oil may never end, but cartel market control can be reduced, and the economic impact of price shocks by reducing oil-based fuels. Today over half the oil the United States uses is imported (57%), and dependence will increase as domestic resources run out. "Reduce oil dependence costs," (2008). Successfully developing a competitive alternative fuels industry in the United States (U.S.) would bring significant economic and national security benefits; alternative fuel production is plagued with continuing uncertainties regarding world oil prices. Developing cleaner alternative fuels can drastically cut America’s dependence to fossil fuels; access to clean fuels would be beneficial to curbing problems already faced such as: global warming, smog, and other environmental hazards. Burning natural gas results in very low emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide – reducing acid rain and smog – and virtually no emissions of mercury or particulates (soot), making it among the cleanest ways to generate electricity. Accounting for emissions from fuel production through transportation and conversion, efficient natural gas power plants produce half the carbon dioxide emissions of coal-fired plants. Not only can the use of alternative energy sources be helpful to cleaning up the environment; it can create jobs and revenue for the economy as well. According to Ellerbusch (2011), "In many cases, the farmers in these local Southern areas will be the true beneficiaries. Many forms of Southern agriculture are under production pressure, whether it be disease, pest, or international competition pressures. A long term lease for land and a contract to grow energy crops for BP on a portion of their land will be a wonderful opportunity for Southern farmers to reduce the risk in their existing operations and diversify into the energy industry” (para. 5). The Federal government offers tax incentives to consumers purchasing qualifying alternative fuel vehicles to promote alternative fuels. According to Jones (2007),”In a time of economic ruin, let us never forget that everything required to make America's economy cleaner, greener, and more resilient is a career pathway for someone, a business contract, or an entrepreneurial opportunity. We can power America through this recession by repowering America with clean energy. We can create millions of jobs that will make our people wealthier and the Earth healthier” (para 3). According to "Why Natural Gas" (n.d.), "The natural gas industry directly employs 622,000 Americans, plus another 2.2 million people in supporting industries” (para. 3). Natural gas is promoting economic growth, creating new jobs, and generating U.S. government revenues. Activities related to developing natural gas contributed $385 billion to the United States’ economy in 2008, according to the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), whose members produce and market about one-third of the nation's total natural gas supplies. According to Murphy, (2008),” Taking into account the EIA's [US Energy Information Agency] projected increases in electricity demand, the