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PROFIT OR ENVIRONMENT?
The petroleum industry is no different than any other business. It exist to make money and will pursue any means to profit. Americans and other people of the world don't realize how much of an impact the petroleum industry has on the world economy. Most of us don't think twice or even once at the gas pump about where our money is going. We just grumble occasionally about the price, then pay and drive off until the tank hits empty, requiring us to return. For the past century the petroleum industry and the automobile industry have grown almost as one, industry dependent on each other in the pursuit of profits.
According to Ecarta 97, Petroleum has been in use by man for centuries in the form of lubricants and medicinal products. The past century has seen an explosion of petroleum exploration to feed the combustion engine. The combustion engine is mainly used in the transportation industry, primarily automobiles. This century old technology has grown to the point where the world is dependent on the engine in daily living.
Why does the world continue to hang on to such old technology that is destroying our world? The petroleum industry and automobile industry for years have believed that the worlds oil reserves would never run out. Only during the past few decades have the worlds industrial leaders realized that the world?s supply of petroleum is limited and that it is having an impact on the environment.
Although environmentalist with Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) have recognized the problem, they have been slow to get strict standards passed through legislation. The EPA has helped by mandating more efficient cars that use less fuel and produce less pollution. The EPA and other agencies pushing for recycling petroleum products and cleaner fuel have also temporally slowed the effects of future shortages and pollution. But, we still haven?t solved the main problem: What can we use as an alternate power source that wont pollute the world?
The industry doesn't want to solve the problem. People are making billions of dollars every year selling petroleum products that feed our transportation industry. Everything from gasoline, lubricants, paints and plastics are made from petroleum, and are used in our automobiles. In 1980 over 114 million automobiles were reported to be on the road according to government statistics. Consumers continue to demand better and faster automobiles giving the industry more of an excuse not to change and ignore the problem.
Rumors over the years have reported that the petroleum industry has kept new innovative products off the market that could help reduce our problems considerably. They do this by buying the copy rights or paying people not to produce the products. This can be easily done by an industry that carries a big wallet.
Advertising has also kept the industry going. Advertisers portray a different picture that gets your mind off the problem. Petroleum companies play on your automotive desires, like gasoline that performs well and gives you more power. They also play on the convenience of their stores by selling unrelated products such as groceries. The industry has changed only to meet economic needs.
The automobile industry has also done little to comply with a growing attitude of change. With stricter pollution standards hovering over combustion engines, they continue trying to perfect hundred year old technology. The combustion engine just keeps being refined enough to be in compliance with law. The fact is that we are still using petroleum products in an industry that is growing by leaps and bounds all over the world.
The auto and petroleum industries will keep making minor adjustments to address
problems of pollution and dwindling resources. It wont be enough as long as petroleum
consumption continues to rise from millions of automobiles put on the road each year. The
advances we make to curb consumption and pollution are offset by automobile industries desire to
produce more and profit. These dilemmas will persist as long as the auto and petroleum industries
continue making each other money.
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