The Energy Consumed By The United States

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Roughly 81% of the energy consumed in the United States in 2015 was produced by fossil fuels including coal, natural gas, and petroleum oil (EIA, “U.S. Energy Facts Explained”). A study on the consequences of coal revealed that the burning of coal produced over 100 million tons of solid waste, and the readying of coal to be burned creates nearly 90 million gallons of slurry, a muddy waste product, in the United States every year (Sierra Club 2011). In 2015, 2,413 petroleum oil spills were reported to have spilled a total of just over 300,000 gallons in U.S. waterways (U.S. Department of Transportation). Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and natural gas can contaminate groundwater, induce earthquakes, and release air pollutants.…show more content…
Wind energy, one of the oldest forms of renewable energy used by humans, is produced simply by harnessing the power of the wind with wind turbines and generating electricity. Geothermal energy is energy from the heat of the Earth, and is drawn from locations with naturally heated water like hot water reservoirs and geysers or areas deep within the Earth accessed by drilling (NREL, "Learning About Renewable Energy"). Hydroelectric power, in simplest terms, uses the power of water rushing downwards to rotate a propeller attached to a generator that in turn produces electricity (Perlman). Another form of renewable energy is biomass, such as wood, biofuel, and bio-waste, which is burned to produce energy; however, it is not clean energy.
Shifting the majority of energy consumption in the U.S. to clean energy would affect people and businesses both in and outside of the nation. This inevitably creates concern surrounding the topic and causes delays due to necessary controversy and questioning. While plenty of concerns are valid, others have been answered by studies and reports by various organizations but have yet to reach the public in masses.
One of these concerns is that the cost transitioning to clean energy would be too expensive. It is true that shifting to green energy would have notable start-up costs; however, generating energy from these
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