Where your energy comes from

Linda D. Klein

The United States is one of the largest producers of energy in the world. The oil and gas industry is responsible for the production as well as consumption of products such as petroleum, which is used to generate electricity for its consumers. Raw materials produced by the gas and oil […]


The United States is one of the largest producers of energy in the world. The oil and gas industry is responsible for the production as well as consumption of products such as petroleum, which is used to generate electricity for its consumers. Raw materials produced by the gas and oil industries are used to produce plastics, solvents, chemicals, fertilizers and hydrogen to name a few. Oil and gas companies contribute tremendously to the economy as a whole. By reading reviews of these companies online, we are able to determine who the largest contributors are in terms of revenue.

The energy industry in America can be categorised as primary or secondary energy sources:
Primary Energy Sources:
Primary energy sources are sources like fossil fuels, nuclear energy and renewable energy. These are all used to produce electricity and supply homes, businesses and industries with energy. Fossil fuels are natural fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas. These are used in a variety of ways to provide consumers with energy from gasoline to heating in the home.

Nuclear energy is energy created by the subdivision of elements such as uranium and plutonium. Nuclear energy can be natural, such as the heat and light provided by the sun, or man-made such as the nuclear fission (division) of elements to create energy. Renewable energy is a natural energy source such as the wind and sunlight used for solar power and wind power. Another natural energy source would be water, which is used for hydropower.

Secondary Energy Sources:
Secondary energy sources refer to electricity. They are produced by the refining and distribution of primary energy sources. Secondary energy sources are resources such as gasoline, biofuels, distillate fuels, electricity and heat. Gasoline is used by consumers to drive vehicles, while biofuels are raw materials that can be used to create products such as solvents, plastics and chemicals. Distillate fuels are used to propel trucks, buses, trains and boats. Electricity provides electrical power to homes, businesses and industries, while heat can be used for cooking, heating homes, as well as for refrigeration and cooling.

Energy can be measured in various ways depending on their nature:
● Liquid fuels are measured in barrels. 1 barrel is the equivalent of 42 gallons.
● Natural gases are measured in cubic feet. I cubic foot is the equivalent of 28.3 liters.
● Electricity is measured in kilowatts or kilowatt hours. 1 kilowatt is the equivalent of 100 watts, while kilowatt hours refers to the amount of energy you are using.
● Heat energy is measured in BTu’s which is British Thermal Use. It is measured in quads.

Another energy source that is not focused on, is energy from trash and sewerage items. When waste products break down, then create methane gas. Methane gas is considered a greenhouse gas, which can negatively impact the environment. By using methane gas to create energy, we can reduce the amount of greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere. Oil and gas companies spend billions developing and advancing newly advanced energy technologies to combat the production of greenhouse emissions.

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