Energy

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All of the energy we use comes from the Earth, its atmosphere, or the Sun. Some resources are mined or extracted, like coal, uranium, oil, and gas. Others, like wind, solar, tidal, biomass, and hydropower resources, are harnessed at the Earth’s surface. Geoscientists play an essential role in developing energy resources and evaluating their environmental impacts.

Frequently Asked Questions

American Geosciences Institute
American Geosciences Institute
American Geosciences Institute
American Geosciences Institute

Latest News

The White House
(2018-05-04)
April 13, 2018 On April 2, 2018, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the agency would revise fuel economy standards for cars and trucks for model years 2022 through 2025, citing recent data that suggest the current standards are not appropriate. The...
Cumulonimbus clouds
(2018-05-04)
April 11, 2018 On April 11, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing to discuss the bipartisan Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act, or the USE IT Act (S.2602). Introduced by Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) and cosponsored by Senators...
Flow of data
(2018-04-03)
March 23, 2018 At a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on energy infrastructure cybersecurity and emergency response on March 14, Department of Energy (DOE) Under Secretary Mark Menezes explained to committee members the severity and pervasiveness of cybersecurity threats, “When you have...
Technology background
(2018-04-03)
March 8, 2018 The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved the Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act (H.R.589/S.2503) by voice vote on March 8, 2018. This recent action comes over a year after the House passed H.R.589 and it was referred to the Senate committee for...
Excavator mining
(2018-03-09)
February 15, 2018 The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, signed into law by President Donald Trump on February 9, contained language that provides tax incentives for carbon sequestration under a section of the Miscellaneous Provisions. The legislation expands the carbon capture, utilization, and...
Natural gas pump
(2018-03-09)
February 22, 2018 On February 22, the U.S. District Court for Northern California issued a preliminary injunction against suspension of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) 2016 rule on Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation. The Obama-era rule seeks to reduce...
Power lines. Image Credit: U.S. Department of Energy
(2018-02-06)
January 23, 2018 The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on January 23 that underscored concerns surrounding the reliability and resiliency of the electrical power system, particularly under certain weather conditions, such as the deep freeze or bomb cyclone that the U.S....
Atlantic waves
(2018-02-06)
January 19, 2018 On January 19, the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing to identify and examine regulatory obstacles to offshore geological and geophysical resource surveying on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Congress is seeking compromises within...
Drilling rig
(2018-02-06)
January 18, 2018 On January 18, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing to assess the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) progress on eliminating burdens to domestic onshore energy production, pursuant to Secretarial Orders 3349 and 3354....
The Noble John Sandifer jackup rig
(2018-02-06)
January 10, 2018 Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced on January 4 plans for the development of the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) for 2019-2024. The new Draft Proposed Program (DPP) aims to make more than 98 percent of the undiscovered...

Case Studies & Factsheets

Screenshot of the USEITI case studies showing the North Slope Borough case study highlighted
U.S. Department of the Interior

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Information and Data Management has produced a series of case studies on extractive industries across the United States, focusing on coal, copper, gold, iron, natural gas, and oil. The case study on oil production in...

Screenshot of the USEITI case studies showing the Kern County case study highlighted
U.S. Department of the Interior

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Information and Data Management has produced a series of case studies on extractive industries across the United States, focusing on coal, copper, gold, iron, natural gas, and oil. The case study on oil production in Kern...

Screenshot of the USEITI case studies showing the Tarrant and Johnson counties case study highlighted
U.S. Department of the Interior

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Information and Data Management has produced a series of case studies on extractive industries across the United States, focusing on coal, copper, gold, iron, natural gas, and oil. The case study on natural gas production...

Screenshot of the USEITI case studies showing the DeSoto Parish case study highlighted
U.S. Department of the Interior

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Information and Data Management has produced a series of case studies on extractive industries across the United States, focusing on coal, copper, gold, iron, natural gas, and oil. The case study on natural gas production...

Screenshot of the USEITI case studies showing the Campbell County case study highlighted
U.S. Department of the Interior

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Information and Data Management has produced a series of case studies on extractive industries across the United States, focusing on coal, copper, gold, iron, natural gas, and oil. The case study on coal mining in...

Screenshot of the USEITI case studies showing the Boone, Logan and Mingo counties case study highlighted
U.S. Department of the Interior

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Information and Data Management has produced a series of case studies on extractive industries across the United States, focusing on coal, copper, gold, iron, natural gas, and oil. The case study on coal mining in West...

Fig. 1. Exposure of sandstone capping an economic coal bed. Credit: J. Shaulis, Pennsylvania Geological Survey

Defining the Problem Despite Pennsylvania’s long history as a major coal producer, information on the coal geology (Fig. 1), remaining resources, and extent of past mining is not available for many areas of the state. Such information is critical for present and future coal exploration and...

GOLI Online Courses

GOLI Course: Making Produced Water More Productive; Image credit: USGS/ Doug Duncan
Course Type: GOLI Online Course

Geoscience is essential to our understanding and management of produced water, an inevitable byproduct of oil and gas development. This course provides a scientific and regulatory background of produced water, how it is commonly disposed, what opportunities exist for the re-use of produced water...

GOLI Course: Basics of Seismic Petroleum Exploration for New Hires
Course Type: GOLI Online Course

This course is intended as a basic review of seismic prospecting methods for locating and extracting oil and gas global resources. It begins with a review of world hydrocarbon reserves, production and consumption, as well as overall goals and methods which apply to petroleum exploratory efforts...

Research Database Publications

Cover of USGS_2015-3058, Source: U.S. Geological Survey
2015, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey assessed mean volumes of 21 million barrels of oil (MMBO), 27 billion cubic feet of gas, and 1 million barrels of natural gas liquids in two assessment units (AUs) that may contain continuous oil resources. Mean volumes of oil...
Cover of PP1698; Source: USGS
2005, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
The infrastructure of a populated area, including roads, airports, water and energy transmission and distribution facilities, and sewage treatment plants, is critical to the vitality and sustainability of the area. Construction of new and ongoing maintenance of existing infrastructure both require...
Cover of ofr2014-1; Source: Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources
2014, Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources (WA DGER)
The Wind River valley, a northwest-trending valley draining southeastward into the Columbia River Gorge near Washington’s southern border (Fig. 1), is a subject of interest in geothermal exploration. There are numerous thermal and mineral springs and seeps along and adjacent to this valley, several...
Cover of OFR2014-1 ; Source: Oklahoma Geological Survey
2014, Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS)
Water and energy resources are fundamentally connected and have created what some refer to as the energy-water or water-energy nexus. A common goal of water and energy management is to maximize the supply of one while minimizing the use of the other. Water management in Oklahoma has become an...
Cover of GF16; Source: Ohio Geological Survey
2015, Ohio Geological Survey (OGS)
Coal is a black or dark brown, combustible sedimentary rock. It contains greater than 70% carbon-rich material by volume. Since the 1880s, coal has been burned to produce electricity, and today, the electric utility industry is the largest consumer of coal in the nation. The coal used in Ohio for...
AIPG logo
2009, American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG)
Man-made emissions of carbon dioxide result primarily from fuel use.  The Energy Information Agency’s (EIA) 2008 International Energy Outlook estimates annual world carbon dioxide emissions were 28.1 billion metric tons in 2005 and are expected to grow to 42.3 billion metric tons by 2030....
AIPG logo
2009, American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG)
In addition to resource availability, development logistics, and political aspects, the AIPG Energy Committee also considered the environmental aspects of energy production and use. The Energy Committee statement was reviewed through an environmental protection/sustainability lens in an effort to...
Cover of Critical Needs 2016 Report; Source: AGI
2015, American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
The geoscience community has the knowledge, experience, and ingenuity to address a wide range of societal needs. We study Earth’s systems, the complex geologic, marine, atmospheric, and hydrologic processes that sustain life and the economy. Geoscience expertise allows us to better understand and...
Cover of USGS_2015-3052, source: US Geological Survey
2015, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered resources of 214 million barrels of oil, 329 billion cubic feet of associated/dissolved natural gas, and 14 million barrels of natural gas liquids in the informal Uteland Butte member of the Green...
AIPG logo
2009, American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG)
Nuclear energy is carbon-free and has minimal environmental impact and close to zero carbon footprint. Of all emission free sources of electric power, nuclear currently (2008) provides 73.6% toward world demand. In the United States approximately 20% of the electricity is generated by nuclear power...