From the gas pump to the light switch, Florida residents and visitors alike depend on energy. Gasoline, natural gas, coal, oil, nuclear fuel rods, water, and the sun provide power for transportation and for daily life. Alternative fuels such as hydrogen derived from natural gas may also become a part of our energy inventory.
Oil prices skyrocketed through 2000, nearly doubling to $40 a barrel by year’s end. As a result of OPEC cutbacks, former President Bill Clinton released token amounts of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Within the first two weeks of his term, President George W. Bush announced plans to initiate drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Reserves of heating oil and natural gas are low and prices remain high. California’s electric generation crisis has been blamed in part on high natural gas prices. At the start of the 21st century, energy issues are an action item on the public agenda.