Skip to comments.Energy sources have changed throughout the history of the United States
Posted on 07/05/2013 5:10:58 AM PDT by thackney
Energy consumption patterns have changed significantly over the history of the United States as new energy sources have been developed and as uses of energy changed.
A typical American family from the time our country was founded used wood (a renewable energy source) as its primary energy source until the mid- to late-1800s. Early industrial growth was powered by water mills. Coal became dominant in the late 19th century before being overtaken by petroleum products in the middle of the last century, a time when natural gas usage also rose quickly.
Since the mid 20th century, use of coal has again increased (mainly as a primary energy source for electric power generation), and a new form of energynuclear electric poweremerged. After a pause in the 1970s, the use of petroleum and natural gas resumed growth, and the overall pattern of energy use since the late 20th century has remained fairly stable.
While the overall energy history of the United States is one of significant change as new forms of energy were developed, the three major fossil fuelspetroleum, natural gas, and coal, which together provided 87% of total U.S. primary energy over the past decadehave dominated the U.S. fuel mix for well over 100 years. Recent increases in the domestic production of petroleum liquids and natural gas have prompted shifts between the uses of fossil fuels (largely from coal-fired to natural gas-fired power generation), but the predominance of these three energy sources is likely to continue into the future.
EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2013 (AEO2013) Reference case, which assumes continuation of current laws, regulations, and policies, projects continued significant reliance on the three major fossil fuels through at least 2040, when they still supply more than three-quarters of the nation's overall primary energy consumption.
Cannabis was the oil in the engine of commerce and trade for millenniums before the steam age.
Of course, people CHOSE their energy sources before. Now, Our Benevolent Federal Masters want to do the choosing for them. . . .
Where’s the entry for LENR?
LENR is in the aisle with unicorns and pixie dust.
For Obama followers who believe Bush and Cheney destroyed all the working solar and wind power sources so they could build oil refineries and dig coal mines.
(The Energy Information Administration is another propaganda arm of the federal government)
It will get listed right after LENR producing energy for use. I suggest you don’t hold your breath waiting.
What part of the data do you believe incorrect?
I didn't say that any of it was incorrect.
Ah, a buffalo gal!
Pasture pizza? Field frisbees?
In my opinion, for US energy data, there is nothing that begins to come close to EIA. I find often when you did into the source of data for other reports from other sources, EIA is often the source for the data used.
I have followed them for many years, to learn what is going on, far longer than the current administration. I do see changes in emphasis in articles of “education”. But for historical data and the ability to make your own assumptions from past trends and current changes, they have no equal.
LENR is actually producing all the new gas and oil from a secret warehouse in a secret location from a secret formula.
“I have followed them for many years, to learn what is going on, far longer than the current administration. I do see changes in emphasis in articles of education. But for historical data and the ability to make your own assumptions from past trends and current changes, they have no equal”.
Do I hear a second? Not doubting, just asking, as you seem to be the reigning respected, Freerepublic energy guru. I have followed for years, and only recently become aware of your use of EIA as a respected source.
For data, not opinions, the worldwide equivalent is the International Energy Agency http://iea.org/
The data is not as current as the domestic data in EIA.DOE.gov. But the EIA as part of the Department of Energy, has the ability to force domestic energy companies to file detailed, timely reports.
The IEA’s Oil Market Report is very good. They get quite a fee for the detailed publication each month. However, after a two week delay they make that same report available for free.
Highlights are at:
This includes a link to the current free report, and archives of older ones available without charge.
Canvas sails, hemp ropes. These are what drove all sea vessels for thousands of years.
As I recall, those same canvas sails, and hemp ropes drove seagoing vessels to harvest oil from certain sea-dwelling creatures as an 'energy source' for a while. This is no longer done, as a practical alternative was found in petroleum. Man will always seek to discover the best practical solutions to his needs, but the operative word there is 'practical'.
Those who natter on and on about 'alternative energy sources' lack the most important thing in their arguments. That being the presentation of a practical alternative.
If, and when one is ever discovered, crude petroleum, and all its derivatives, will go the way of whale oil lamps and the like...
Absolutely, the stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones. Neither did the iron or bronze age.
Yep - when Capitalism/Prosperity are the driving factors, it is a good change. When cost and lack of availability are not prime considerations, it is a bad change.
Thanks, that Jul 24 chart on Texas reduced available electrical power was also very interesting.
Kids love ‘em because they don’t have to be chopped and split.
The dirty little secret of that warehouse is that the LENR unit is secretly powered by 10,000,000 turkeys and a thermal depolymerization installation hidden in the basement.
Fuel from turkeys? Feather Fuel? Guts for Gas? Good process but bad for ads: “You have a turkey in your tank!” just does not sound right.
Lenny for a penny sounds good except so far no Lenny.
Sounds a lot better than, "you have a turkey in the White House," and a whole lot less damaging.
Federal data banks, including EIA, are generally reliable. Every administration is free to spin the topline numbers however it pleases for purposes of the press releases, but underlying that is the data itself, which is usually among the best to be had. The feds can compel broad based reporting so the data sets are relatively complete (which is not to say perfect). The feds also have staying power so federal data banks are the mother lode for long time series data. The methodology is relatively transparent, though you may have to get down in the weeds and read the fine print. Changes in methodology are disclosed. Alternative data sets based on different assumptions and/or definitions are commonplace. And an incredible amount is online.
None of this means the numbers are perfect, and long term data sets sometimes don’t adequately capture the nuances of recent developments that may confound decades-old reporting schemes. But it is hard to imagine a serious debate on a numbers question that didn’t at least reference the Census or Commerce or USDA or IRS or EIA data. And if one is making a case that appears to confound the federal data, a first test of credibility and seriousness is for the author to acknowledge and explain the differences. Those discussions are often very instructive.