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Fossil Fuels: Cheap But with Negative Effect on Environment

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The variety of fuels used to generate electricity all have some impact on the environment, some negative (Power Scorecaard.) Scientist have addressed many problems that generating electricity may cause. Nuclear power plants are generating large quantities of radioactive waste. Fossil fuel power plants release air pollution and require cooling water and can ruin large lands during mining. Renewable energy facilities too affect wildlife, involve hazardous wastes, or require cooling water (Power Scorecaard.) Fossil-fueled plants in specific create serious environmental issues although many electric utilities have run fossil-fuel plants for decades, and these plants are very profitable and easy to operate (americanhistory.) Scientist addressed this issue many times and have now found alternatives to fossil-fueled plants; solar panels, wind power, power from tides, geo-thermal energy are just a few alternatives to fossil-fueled plants (ecolonomics.)Fossil fuels may harm the environment in a variety of ways, but they also have numerous advantages. Fossil fuels are cheap. Although the process of extraction and refinement is relatively expensive, it is quite cheap to run them. Innovative technology is accessible to extract fossil fuels with efficiency, reducing the overall cost. Many companies invest in this since it’s cheaper than installing wind and solar technologies (Conserve Energy Future.)

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Since fossil fuels are stable, they are safe to transport. It is easy and efficient to transport fossil fuels over long distances. This is because they are many ways to transport them; they can be transported on large trucks or pumped through large pipes above and below ground. This is more efficient than transporting other forms of energy similar to nuclear energy, since it may be unsafe and risky to transport (Conserve Energy Future.) Fossil fuels are reliable compared to other energy sources, and have been since the industrial revolution. Solar and wind energy rely mainly on the current climatic conditions to produce electricity whilst fossil fuels insure a reliable supply of energy (Conserve Energy Future.) Using fossil-fueled plants as an energy resource opens many jobs in finance, administration and construction.

Although they are numerus advantages of fossil fuels they are also many disadvantages. Fossil fuels are nonrenewable energy sources. Nonrenewable energy sources are finite and are intended to deplete in the future. Their supply is limited and they will eventually run out. Environmental pollution is one of the major disadvantages of fossil fuels. When fossil fuels are burnt carbon dioxide gas is released, this adds to the green-house effect and is one of the primary gases responsible for the increase in global warming. Oil and coal release sulfur dioxide gas when burning which contribute to acid rain and causes breathing problems for living creatures (BBC Bitesize.) Accidents involving fossil fuels are highly disastrous and can cause massive damage. Oil spills are very common, oil spills lead to pollution of water bodies and death of aquatic animals as well as damaging the environment of shore (Conserve Energy Future.)

Emissions of greenhouse gasses and other toxic elements due to fossil fuel combustions can cause serious health complications such as chronic asthma, low lung functioning, chronic bronchitis and cardiovascular diseases (Conserve Energy Future.) Fossil fuels have a large impact on the environment. Fossil fuels are formed from decayed plants and animals that have been converted to oil, coal or natural gas by exposure to heat and pressure in the earth’s crust over hundreds of millions of years. Fossil fuels contain carbon that was present in organisms when they died, the carbon is what makes them a source of energy. When burning coal, oil and natural gas for fuel carbon releases into the atmosphere. This carbon combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide (CO2) a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases contribute to global warming as the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space. Fossil fuels are also economically impacted. Fossil fuels are relatively cheap compared to other energy resources.

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Although the process of extraction and refinement is relatively expensive, the return in investment is remarkable. New innovative technology is available that can extract fossil fuels with a high degree of efficiency, reducing overall costs. Extraction of fossil fuels is cheaper than installing wind and solar technology which brings electric utilities to invest in fossil fuels causing these utilities to largely profit from the fossil fuels. In conclusion, fossil fuels negatively affect the environment in numerous ways but also have many economic advantages. Fossil fuels are one of the main causes of global warming and the greenhouse effect. They produce gasses which harm the environment causing many of the environmental issues we face today. Although they are economically advantaged, they are many other renewable alternatives such as solar panels, wind power, power from tides and geo-thermal energy which don’t harm the environment.

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