In the past year the lack of energy in California has been brought to the attention of the general public. The issue of how that energy is produced has become a problem. There are a few ways to produce that power there is the traditional way of burning fuels or there is clean power such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric. Clean power sources do not have any waist products and do not pollute the environment. There are many advantages and disadvantages to using any of these power sources. .
Burning different fuels has been the most commonly used method for generating energy for many years. Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas are the most commonly used fuels. The advantages to using fuels like this are there is a low start up cost to build one of these plants. They can also produce energy at a lower cost per kilowatt hour. But there is a greater cost to the environment. Many of the environmental problems our stare faces today result from our fossil fuel dependence. This dependence has a number of impacts on the environment. These impacts include global warming, air quality deterioration, oil spills, and acid rain. Among the gases emitted when fossil fuels are burned, one of the most significant is carbon dioxide. This gas helps trap heat in the earth's atmosphere. During the last 150 years, burning fossil fuels has resulted in more than a 25 percent increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. (1992 Energy Technology Status Report, n. pag.) Clean air is essential to life and good health. Several important pollutants are produced by fossil fuel combustion: carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and hydrocarbons. Carbon monoxide is a gas formed as a by-product during the incomplete combustion of all fossil fuels. Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause headaches and place additional stress on people with heart disease. Many of these pollutants cause acid rain which affects crops, forests, and buildings.