September 2000, the world was hit by an "oil crisis"; the cost of crude
oil reached over 35 dollars a barrel, and gasoline (which the British call
"petrol") became very expensive. Even in America. Since then, the
cost of oil has fallen; but even in the USA, use of oil has continued
to fall .
don't make cars like this any more. They used too much gasolene
During the summer of 2000, lots of
car-drivers in America were angry. The cost of gasoline went above
$2 a gallon
in some states. The age of cheap gasoline was over.
Today, in 2016, gas costs at least $ 2 a
the USA. In California, even regular gas costs about $2.80
This is very cheap compared to Europe,*
* but Americans think that it is very expensive.
The United States is the land of
relatively cheap energy; America is the second biggest producer of oil
in the world, but it is also the biggest importer. In fact, the USA
imports over 20% of its energy, mostly in the form of oil.
There is oil under the ground in many
parts of the USA. America's first oil
wells were drilled
in the year 1859, in Pennsylvania; and since then, more and more wells
have been made in other states.
Today, oil companies are "fracking", and
finding lots more oil under the ground.
in the American oil industry
The centre of America's oil industry
today is the state of Texas; and America's "oil capital" is the city of
Dallas. Texas is by far the biggest producer of oil in the USA.
It was not always the case; the first
were opened in 1901, when there was already a big oil industry in other
parts of the USA. But without the oil from Texas, America's history
would have been very different.
In 2001, Texans celebrated their "oil
Cheap oil and cheap gasoline helped to
make modern America. They shaped America's cities, and they were an
essential part of the American lifestyle. They were also essential in
the great empty states of the West, where people often have to travel
Today, Americans consume about 25% of
the world's energy.... far more than people in other countries; but the
situation is slowly changing.
Americans are already buying smaller
cars, and American cars consume much less gas than they used to. But in
the coming years, they will use less and less oil. They will have to.
There is still a lot of oil under the
ground, but oil and gas must become more expensive in the future. Over
50% of America's traditional oil reserves have already been used -
mostly since 1950. Nobody knows when America's oil will start running
out, but the
first problems could come in less than 20 years. And as soon as oil
starts running out, its price will go up very quickly!
In conclusion, the "two dollar gallon"
was good for America. It has encouraged Americans to buy smaller cars,
and to use less energy. That way, America's oil will last longer.....
perhaps until the age of clean green energy arrives.
to an end. -
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