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The US is pumping out oil like never before — and at a higher rate than any country in the world

The more the public embraces new technology, the easier it will be to let go of oil — and the less damage we’ll do to the planet.

The more the public embraces new technology, the easier it will be to let go of oil — and the less damage we’ll do to the planet.

Photo Credit: iStock

Oil is deeply integrated into American life and industry, with most vehicles running on gasoline and diesel. However, because it causes so much pollution, there has been a push in recent years to move away from oil and similar “dirty energy” sources. 

Yet despite the incredible harm oil does to the environment, the United States has increased its production, surpassing even Saudi Arabia to produce the most oil of any country in the world, The New York Times reported.

What’s happening?

As of December 2023, America is producing a record-setting 13.2 million barrels of oil per day, according to the Times. That is 800,000 more barrels per day than the country produced at the beginning of 2022.

Some of the growth has been driven by President Joe Biden, who recently approved drilling projects in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. These decisions seem at odds with his efforts to protect the environment, which include preventing other oil developments in Alaska and investing $7 billion in hydrogen fuel.

The uptick in oil production comes at the same time the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries — a group that includes Saudi Arabia and other major oil producers — announced it will cut back on oil shipments, the Times pointed out.

Why does the extra oil matter?

On one hand, some Americans will love this decision because it helps keep the cost of gas from rising.

However, that’s a shortsighted view. Switching to electric instead of continuing to rely on gas would be a much smarter long-term plan for America’s drivers. It’s already cheaper for 90% of the population — and passenger cars produce toxic fumes and account for 3.3 billion tons of heat-trapping air pollution each year. Electric vehicles don’t produce any air pollution when driven.

Increasing the production of oil will increase the amount of air pollution in the atmosphere, which will heat up the planet when it’s already at its hottest. We desperately need to cool off — which means using less oil, not more.

What’s being done about pollution from combustion engines?

The European Union is leading the way to go electric by banning the sale of all new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also released new rules that will encourage automakers to focus on EVs, saving Americans more than $1 trillion in the next three decades.

The more the public embraces this new technology, the easier it will be to let go of oil — and the less damage we’ll do to the planet.

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