Alternative energy sources must be implemented because oil is a scarce and non-renewable resource.2 billion barrels of oil, equivalent to 17 million barrels of oil each day (Coastal 67). The undiscovered U.S. OCS and gas resources combined with onshore reserves would amount to only 81.5 billion barrels of oil, enough to last for 5000 days (Coastal 75). So the oil crisis is not entirely bad news, the U.S. still has time to implement alternative energy sources such as nuclear energy, hydroelectric energy, solar power, wind power, and geothermal energy, as well as alternative fuels which may be used in existing power plants. Alternative fuels can be used in existing power plants to conserve the oil supply. Many small plants in the United States, Canada, and some European countries now regularly produce power this way in coal burning power plants using alternative fuels such as garbage, tires, sawdust, and animal dung (Energy 87). Alternative fuels may be used as a temporary relief to the massive consumption of oil in the U.S. Although alternative fuels are not a pollution free choice, they require no new power plants to be built. This method of oil conservation can be used during the transition from oil to alternative energy sources, using existing power plants as new technologies are being developed and deployed. The first step towards implementing energy alternatives is efficiency. Technology exists for electric trains, high gas mileage, efficient light bulbs, and efficient appliances, even electric cars such as the Hyundai Solara are hitting the market as of 2000. The U.S. is moving towards efficiency, and the oil shortage has caught the public's eye. Efficiency is a primary concern because most of the U.S. energy consumed is created by oil. If the U.S. were to become as energy efficient as Japan, by the year 2020 we would save the equivalent of 45 billion barrels of oil (En!.
ergy 24). That is 7 additional years of energy that could be saved for the U.