Energy Use: U.S.

Authored by: Dwight K. French

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Virtually all of the myriad economic and social activities of United States society involve inputs of energy. Our high activity levels have propelled the United States to the forefront of energy consumers among nations. Our almost 100 quadrillion (100 followed by 15 zeroes) British thermal units (Btu) of energy consumed annually is more than twice as much as that of any other nation. However, relative to our population and economic activity, the U.S. is comparable to, and even below, other nations in energy use. A key to understanding the demand for energy in the United States is comprehending the vast scope of activity to which we intensively devote ourselves. This entry attempts to capture that scope by providing an overview of energy use in the several major sectors of U.S. society—housing, commerce and institutions, industry, transport, and even energy transformation—in terms of the types of energy used and the purposes for which it is used.

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