Williams: Energy Independence Within Our Grasp

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When it comes to energy, the U.S. is in stronger position than previously reported. According to a recent Energy Information Administration report, the net amount of primary energy imported in 2012, the latest year figures are available, was less than 15%.

Keep in mind; this is about net imports. According to EIA, the nation imported approximately 27 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy. However, the nation exported slightly more than 11 quadrillion Btus, for a net import of approximately 16 quadrillion Btus. Since the total amount of energy used in 2012 was 106 quadrillion Btus, the net imports amount to slightly less than 15%.

Natural gas was the largest contributor towards energy independence. Approximately 24 quadrillion Btus were produced domestically, or 23% of the nation's energy.

Coal was second. Approximately 21 quadrillion Btus were produced in 2012. This amounted to 19.5% of the nation's energy.

Crude was third. Approximately 14 quadrillion Btus were produced for 13% of the nation's energy.

Renewable energy was fourth. EIA defines renewable energy as conventional hydroelectric power, biomass, geothermal, solar, photovoltaic, and wind. Renewables produced nine quadrillion Btus, which amounted to 8.3%.

Nuclear power was fifth. Approximately eight quadrillion Btus were produced. This amounted to 7.6% of the nation's energy.

The largest energy consumer was the industrial sector swallowing approximately 29% of all primary energy produced or imported.

Transportation, residential and commercial sectors were the other large consumers. Transportation consumed approximately 25% of the nation's primary energy. Residential consumed approximately 19%. Commercial consumed approximately 16%.

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