I think that natural gas is the best alternative to oil. The problem with that is that we will have to tear up a decent amount of our nature and we will have to figure out if that is worth the price. I do however think that natural gas will not only help us against foreign oil but will also help us with jobs back on the home front.
New methods of producing natural gas have given a boost to
the United States economy. Natural gas provides jobs with good pay, without
requiring a lengthy education. In areas where the energy boom is going strong,
employers have trouble finding enough workers. Then, when these well-paid workers
spend their wages, their paycheck spreads out to invigorate the local economy, instead
of heading offshore to enrich an energy producing nation.
While natural gas and other alternatives certainly can help in REDUCING our dependence on foreign oil, most sources commonly discussed under the heading of 'clean energy' in politics and media are either not sustainable or not sufficient for our energy needs. Hydroelectric, wind, and solar power, for instance, are all geographically limited (there can only be so many dams, so much land allocated to power production). Nuclear energy is what (most) engineers and scientists mean when they say 'clean, cheap, renewable energy'. Nuclear plants produce massive amounts of power with incredibly low emissions. Of course, there are some major safety concerns with the technology - as evidenced by fairly recent events in Japan among other nuclear failures. Personally, however, I am confident that safety of this still relatively new technology can be improved in the coming years. The potential of nuclear power is too great to overlook.
I do not think natural gas could be our emancipation from foreign oil, and I do not think it is sustainable going forward. What emancipates us from oil in general is green, alternative energy. We will have to one day go in this direction anyway, as the problem of climate change keeps on increasing.
I do not believe natural gas can be our emancipation from foreign oil. Our release from foreign oil will only come when we give up our over use of oil and make actually strides to survive on sustainable energy. Switching to another finite resource will not produce a miracle. We actually have to move towards the one thing everyone seems to be against. An energy source that isn't likely to run out any time soon.