About 86% of all types of energy used in the United States is derived from fossil fuels. In 2007, the largest source of the country’s energy came from petroleum (40%), followed by natural gas (24%) and coal (23%). The remaining 13% was supplied by nuclear power, hydroelectric dams, and miscellaneous renewable sources. Today, this dependency has increased, not decreased, making us vulnerable.
The United States depends on imported fossil fuels to meet over 40 percent of its energy needs. This dependence leaves the United States vulnerable to supply disruptions and high energy prices with estimates showing that every 10 percent increase in world oil prices results in a 0.5 percent reduction in the State’s GDP.
At the same time, the United States has abundant natural resources, including wind, sunshine, and geothermal sources for electricity generation, and land for energy crops that can be refined into biofuels to address transportation needs. Economic and culturally sensitive use of natural resources can provide energy supply security and price stability for the people of the United States as well as significant environmental benefits and economic growth opportunities. Successfully developing our clean and sustainable energy economy will make the United States a global model.