How Much Fossil Fuel Do We Use Today?


Unsplash/Mehluli Hikwa

In the United States and around the globe, people depend on fossil fuels for much of our energy production. This is changing — better knowledge of the health risks caused by pollution and the amount of greenhouse gases fossil fuels release into the atmosphere have made it a less popular option for energy production. Now, both governments and the citizens they represent are wary of depending on it indefinitely.

However, humans still rely on fossil fuels for much of our energy production. So, how much is used today?

What Current Fossil Fuel Use Looks Like

Fossil fuels are energy-dense deposits of natural fuel that are the results of millennia of decomposing organic matter. Oil, coal and natural gas supply the vast majority of the world's energy.

Today, around 80 percent of all energy produced in the United States comes from these nonrenewable resources. Of this 80 percent, the largest share (37 percent) came from petroleum, the next largest (31 percent) from natural gas and the smallest (13 percent) from coal.

The remaining 20 percent of energy is produced by a combination of renewable resources — like wind and solar — hydro and nuclear power.

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