Date of Award



Edward Van Buren


The term “energy crisis” has been a circulating topic in societal discourse recently as the political, economic, and environmental future of the United States is considered. As a result of the Industrial Revolution, the country’s dependency on energy has been increasing exponentially as we rely on it as a means for societal and international advancement. For decades America has primarily used coal and oil to run our country – individuals, businesses, homes, companies, industrial sites, stores, restaurants, etc. etc. cannot function without them. Lights, laptops, toasters, heaters, cars, movies, everything from menial everyday tasks to multi-national investments utilize and rely on the presence and availability of gas and oil. But the availability is exactly what is in question, and the term crisis does not exaggerate the state America could reach. Multiple issues have arisen from this dependency in regards to public health, economic viability, and negative environmental impacts of the industries, and most visibly, the foreign relations problems in terms of safety and power. Because of these tangible threats, policy and industry incentives are focused on finding alternative, domestic, and “clean(ish)” sources of energy to help the U.S. stabilize economically. By keeping money circulating internally, creating jobs instead of outsourcing, increasing research, and creating a strong national identity, this push should be beneficial to all aspects of American life – finding new sources of energy does more than stabilize the economy. This stability provides a positive social temperament, institutes a driven, higher functioning society, and supports a healthy future for America, and the planet.