There are many advantages and disadvantages to fossil fuels. Although there are sufficient quantities presently to sustain demand, fossil fuels are not a renewable resource. The environmental devastation caused by the use of these fuels is growing rapidly and has become the subject of significant world concern. But until another affordable alternative energy source is discovered, fossil fuels will still likely be the primary energy source in the United States and abroad.
Fossil fuels — oil, coal, and natural gas — are responsible for most of the energy consumed in the United States. This use is sustainable in the near future. But fossil fuels are not a renewable resource, as they take millions of years to create. This means that when the stores are exhausted, it will not be possible to produce more.
As the current rate of utilization exceeds the current level of fossil fuel creation, the need for alternative energy is imminent. Fossil fuels only give us short-term reliability and must be replaced by a sustainable alternative in the future.
A notorious source of pollution, fossil fuels produce carbon dioxide. This chemical contributes to the greenhouse effect. Coal, a widespread resource in the United States, also produces sulfur dioxide, a contributing factor to acid rain. Although the United States currently has sufficient coal reserves for more than 200 years at its current level of use, according to the US Energy Information Administration, coal does not cause irreparable damage to the environment. In addition to pollution and global warming, coal mining destroys large areas of land, including habitats and scenic landscapes.
Fossil fuels are in abundance and cost-effective. They generate significant amounts of electricity with relatively little cost. The use of coal-fired electricity creates many jobs. Miners harvested coal, delivered to power plants via train. These trains need engineers and other workers to remain functional. The facility also needs maintenance and other crews to ensure functionality.
Fossil fuels are easy to find, and power plants that use them can be designed almost anywhere. They provide an efficient, established energy source that makes our lifestyle. Most transport and buildings depend on fossil fuels for functionality.
The process of using fossil fuels can be dangerous and difficult for some workers. Coal miners encounter daily risks as they work to harvest coal. Fossil fuels have a bad smell, which makes the mine and power plant extremely smelly and unwanted. Due to the large amounts of coal a power plant requires, the environment is often stacked high with the resource.