Students may not realize where their energy is obtained—from the cars they ride in on their way to school to the electricity that powers their televisions and computers. Yet, much of the energy resources we use everyday may come from places far away. Like many resource issues, energy resources can create problems between two countries. When energy is extracted in one country to sell to another country, the benefit may not be equally distributed to the people of both countries. Relatively poor countries may sell their energy resources to wealthier countries to bring in revenue. The citizens of the poor countries may not have a say in how this exchange happens, while the citizens in the wealthier countries are likely unaware of the inequity that may occur. This phenomenon is also true within the United States. For example, West Virginia is one of the most energy-rich areas of the nation, yet the state's residents are among the poorest in the nation.
Watch this video of 4th and 5th grade students in San Diego, California—a coastal community. The purpose of this classroom video is to hear students discuss buying natural gas from Mexico.
For additional classroom context, video analysis, and reflection opportunities, read the Picture of Practice page for "Energy Across Borders" in the Energy Potential Environmental Literacy Teacher Guide, page 88.