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Coal Facts

  • The United States has 483 billion tons of coal in its demonstrated reserve base, enough domestic coal to use for over 500 years at current rates of consumption. These estimates do not include Alaska’s coal resources, which according to government estimates, are larger than those in the lower 48 states.
  • The United States has an estimated 10 trillion short tons of coal, over 11,000 years worth at today’s consumption levels.
  • America’s known coal reserves (259 short tons) constitute 27% of the world’s supply, one-and-a-half times greater than our nearest competitor.
  • The United States produces 1.0 billion short tons of coal a year, making it the world’s second largest coal producer. China produced almost 4.0 billion tons in 2012.
  • Excessive EPA regulation that effect existing coal plants could increase utility bills 10-20% in most of the country and over 20% in the Midwest. Those EPA regulations are also prematurely closing existing coal plants. That along with competition from low cost natural gas has made coal consumption decline by 21 percent between 2008 (when it hit its peak) and 2012, coal production decline by 13 percent over the same period, and many coal miners lose their jobs.
  • Environmental groups tout that they have blocked 150 new coal plants.

Oil and Gas Facts

  • In 2012, the United States produced 25.3 trillion cubic feet of marketed natural gas, making it the world’s largest natural gas producer. Record natural gas production has resulted from shale gas production in the Marcellus and other shale formations using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technology.
  • In 2012, the United States produced 6.49 million barrels of oil per day, making it the world’s third largest oil producer. In petroleum liquids production, which includes biofuels production, refinery gain, and natural gas plant liquids, the United States has just become the world leader. Hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling technology has also resulted in the shale oil revolution occurring in the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota, the Eagle Ford in Texas, and in other shale deposits.
  • Proved conventional oil reserves worldwide more than doubled from 642 billion barrels in 1980 to more than 1.638 trillion barrels in 2013.
  • The United States is home to the richest oil shale deposits in the world—there are about 1 trillion barrels of recoverable oil in U.S. oil shale deposits mainly on federal lands in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, nearly four times that of Saudi Arabia’s proved oil reserves.
  • The federal government leases about 3 percent of federal lands for oil and natural gas production–2.1 percent of federal offshore areas and less than 6 percent of federal onshore lands.
  • The world could hold more than 700 quadrillion (700,000 trillion) cubic feet of methane hydrates—more energy than all other fossil fuels combined.

Why This Matters

  1. By 2025, some estimates indicate that abundant, affordable natural gas will help U.S. manufacturers add 500,000 petrochemical-related jobs.
  2. Baseball helmets are made with petrochemicals, along with hundreds of other products you’ll find at the ballpark.
  3. The 90 million seatbelts are sold in the U.S. each year rely on refined products.
  4. Commercial airplanes propel our fast-paced economy to new heights, and are built with lightweight, efficient materials derived from hydrocarbons.
  5. The brave men and women who serve in the U.S. military depend on safety gear that is built with petrochemicals.
  6. Do you take heart medication? Have you or a loved one ever needed surgery? Petrochemicals are the foundation of the medical industry.
  7. Need to clear some brush in the backyard or split a pile of wood? Tools and safety equipment are built with refined products.
  8. Over 40% of beverage packaging materials used in the U.S. are synthetic materials derived from petrochemicals.
  9. $16 billion of construction materials used in the U.S. are made with refined products.
  10. Reading this on an iPad? Electronics and appliances contain up to 40% or more of plastics derived from petrochemicals.