Just a rough draft nothing special... If anyone has advice, that would be greatly appreciated:)
Please discuss an issue of international significance that has occurred in the last year and is of particular importance to you.
At some point in our lives we are affected by the rising gas prices in today's world economy. Gas prices are rising to extremes nearing almost 4 dollars a gallon. As if the cost of gas isn't outrageous enough, the prices are expected to rise even more in the summer with oil prices racing toward $100 a barrel; one could only wonder how much further this can this can escalate. Everyone's talking about it and everyone's complaining about it. Personally it affects me every week and I wonder how the world is going to face this problem in the future. I recall spending time with my grandparents and how they would explain "back in my day we only paid 10 cents a gallon!" I could never imagine paying so little for gas. Fuel is a critical part of the world's economy and it's not as plentiful as we need it to be.
Rising gas prices have many effects on hundreds of thousands of people causing them to drive less and use less household heating and air conditioning. The news even reports of people passing out in their homes under extreme heat because they aren't able to afford to run their air conditioning. This can be a direct effect of the expensive oil prices as most electricity is created from fuel. People have shorter vacations and spend less on other commodities. It's even negatively affecting sales this holiday season and it seems everyone's losing out except for large oil companies and their partners.
Identifying the problem is a tricky and controversial matter. Most initially blame the oil corporations who make billions of dollars from oil, but they aren't the only ones spotting the obvious gold mine. Governments also want a piece of the action and respond with taxes thus only rising prices. Also, another valid point is the lack of available oil in the world today. Although the world can never economically run out of oil, prices however can get extremely high. Other complications such as location also play a role. For example, Alaska is known for having one of the largest oil reserves in the world, however untouchable because of national park reserves.
People respond to the rising fuel prices in various ways one of which that is very popular is buying a hybrid vehicle. Hybrid vehicles are not only good for efficient gas consumption but also good for the environment. Although it helps the cause some might wonder if it's really enough. I own a "fuel efficient vehicle" yet still feel the pinch of the oil prices. It may even give the oil companies an excuse to raise prices even more.
Living in California, we see the worst of it (in the USA). In no other state in the US is gas as expensive as it is here. If that wasn't the worst of it, California is also jam pack with cars. Not only do I hate driving here, but I hate paying for gas here too. Living in Switzerland really opened my mind up to a good alternative, public transport. No other place in the world is said to have a more efficient public transit system. The USA lacks in public transport, but this is mostly in part to the great land mass. Too much ground to cover, too many people and so much investment in roads makes public transport an unsuitable approach to the problem.
We should start looking for alternatives and fast. More and more people are being suppressed by the high prices. The more we pay for gas, the less we get to spend on other things. More and more it's becoming the talk of the century. It's time for change. We need to put this international epidemic behind us and find an alternative fast.
I think your "rough draft" flows very smoothly! :-) Here are some editing suggestions for you:
one can only wonder how much further this can [delete second "this can"] escalate.
This can be a direct effect of the expensive oil prices as most electricity is created from fossil fuel. - Technically, "fuel" is anything which is burned to create energy; therefore, wooden sticks are fuel, so I'd make it more specific. :-)
Governments also want a piece of the action and respond with taxes, thus only raising prices.
Although the world can never economically run out of oil, prices however can get extremely high. - I'm not sure what you mean by "economically" in this context. However, if you mean we can never run out of oil, that's not true. Fossil fuels are a finite resource and will, one day, be gone. (You can quote me on that, if you like.) ;-)
People respond to the rising fuel prices in various ways; one [delete "of which"] that is very popular is buying a hybrid vehicle.
If that wasn't the worst of it, California is also jam-packed with cars.
More and more people are being suppressed by the high prices. - I don't think "suppressed" is really the right word here; you could say "are feeling oppressed by the high prices."
We need to put this international epidemic behind us and find an alternative quickly. [You could say "...quickly--before it is too late."]
My only other suggestion would be that you might want to eliminate the contractions. The usual rule is not to use contractions in formal writing; thus "it is" instead of "it's" and "Everyone is talking" instead of "Everyone's," etc.