Drilling for oil and natural gas, as well as mining for coal, causes severe problems for the earth. There are alternatives though, and these renewable energy sources and fuels are much cleaner and more environmentally friendly. Biodiesel and ethanol are both produced using biomass materials, usually from corn and soybeans in the United States. These biofuels can help eliminate the strain that human activities put on the planet.
Oil and natural gas drilling also pose a huge strain on the earth. These methods can cause contamination of the air, land, and water for miles around, harming plant and animal life. Hydraulic fracturing is one problem, and this happens when toxic chemicals involved in the drilling process are injected into or near drinking water supplies and wells, causing the water to become contaminated, making it unsafe to drink. Waste pits from these drilling processes can contaminate surface and ground waters, and storms and rains can cause these contaminants to enter nearby rivers or streams. Wastes from the production and drilling processes can contain many toxic chemicals and compounds, and this can have a detrimental effect on soil quality. These wastes include metals - many of which are toxic to humans - salts, hydrocarbons from petroleum, and materials that are naturally radioactive.
With all of the renewable alternative energy sources available today, there is no reason for continued dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. Some biofuels can be made from plants that grow in poor soil conditions and are not used as food crops, so there is little competition for food or fertile land. Biofuels and alternative renewable energy sources can let you do your part to prevent creating a strain on the earth.
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