Declining Crude: Is There Any Possibility Of Positive Environmental Impact?

The production of crude oil in the USA is nearly doubled over last six years and the oil exporters to USA now became competitors in global market. The use of oil is responsible for the climate change and many environmental impacts. The most possible adverse impact of declining oil prices is the possibility of use of more and more petroleum products by people from developing countries. But is there any possibility of positive impact on environment directly or indirectly, tangible or non tangible?

The storage capacity of crude oil of any country is not too much or considerable so cannot but oil in these down rate and store it for long term prospective. All countries will use the crude oil same or little more quantity as they are currently using which has not more adverse impact on environment due to emission whenever governments in those countries will not decrease the rates of petroleum products for people.

Continuation of declining in crude prices will make the countries such as Brazil, USA to think on production of biofuel which already responsible for the food vs fuel crises and have potential environmental harms long term basis. At Brazil, currently more than 50 % vehicles use the 24 % ethanol blended petrol and rest use total ethanol as fuel. This ethanol is derived from corn or sugar crops in agricultural land. Although there are many uses of corn and sugar, the primary focus is on the biofuel which can create social and environmental problems. Low prices in crude oil will return this biomass producing land to arable land.

In other sources of biomass including seaweed, Miscanthus are still in primary phase. The large scale cultivation of weed or grass in water, seawater or on land will definitely responsible for environmental impacts. It will disturb the ecosystem at that place, harm to native plants if used the non-native or genetically modified plants for more production. The most important thing is the cost of such biofuel will be more compare to petroleum products now. And declining in crude oil will create the question mark in front of such all projects, and it may be beneficial for environment.

In many African countries and India rural area people are dependent on the wood and other resources from jungle and agriculture for energy to cook food or boiling water for bath. It is also responsible for deforestation if they use the raw wood by cutting trees for direct combustion. Direct burning of fire wood, coal, and agricultural biomass is also responsible for the poor health of people. The availability of crude oil in cheap rate save big amount of Indian government which can be used for health of people and implementation of renewable sources of energy in cheap rate.

Sun is the ultimate source of energy for human being, just the problem is to trap and use that energy. Solar equipment are still expensive and day by day increasing their demand. But in coming days it is possible to get those in convenient prices due to low demand as availability of fossil fuel in cheap rates. This can impact positively as companies will get time to focus on the research and development of solar equipments and make those more better, sustainable and economic. Currently competition and monopoly of few countries in this sector keeping the customers of developing countries away from use of that.

With this, one more problem of solar energy implementation is, it needs water. Many developing countries are located in such areas where dust is easily makes your solar panel dirty and decrease its effectiveness. Within a week, you will not get performance of solar panel as it has potential. There is no effective technology still to clean those in large scale.

Many developing countries such as India are focusing on nuclear energy though people are opposing that due to safety reasons. Nuclear energy is responsible for many environmental adverse impacts in long term. The wind power is one more so called green energy but how much it is green and effective, is the controversial issue. Implementation of wind energy needs lots of land though it is always hided but you can imagine that. One wind panel is also need to create concrete structure deep in the ground; sometimes need to break the stone results in unavailability of ground water.

Declining crude oil prices will give one opportunity to make those all things more effective and useful. After that only, people will be attracted towards these options not only economic reason but for saving environment too. Currently many environmental and energy related policies in developing countries are totally based on economy of crude oil and now there is an opportunity to them to make policies for truly on environment even if the prices of crude will fluctuating in coming days.


About the Author
Kapilkumar is an Indian research fellow at Tel Aviv University. His academic background is of environmental science. He studied journalism at Pune University, India and completed his intern at Lokmat newspaper, one of the leading newspapers in Maharashtra state of India. Kapilkumar is interested in addressing the challenges relating to climate change by using the fields of journalism and environment together.
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