Are we addicted to oil?
Oil has been escaping into the Gulf of Mexico since a drilling rig leased by BP exploded on 20 April. Are we too dependent on it?
North America uses around one quarter of the world's oil but countries such as India and China are increasing their demand.
This has led to companies facing greater technical and cost challenges in order to access the product from risky environments such as the bottom of the sea bed.
As well fuelling cars and other motor vehicles, oil is used to heat buildings and produce electric power. It also contributes greatly to farming and food processing.
How can we tackle our reliance on oil? Should more money be spent on research and development into replacement products? What would you suggest?
Watch some of the testimony of BP chief executive Tony Haywardhere as he appeared before a US Congress committee
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