critical issues

Coal Basics

Why does coal matter?

The United States has more estimated recoverable coal reserves than any other nation except China and is a net exporter of coal. In 2017, coal provided 30% of the electricity consumed across the country, and 93% of coal consumed in the United States was used to generate electricity.[3]

Weather Hazards Basics

Why do weather hazards matter?

Weather hazards impact the entire country, with enormous effects on the economy and public safety. Since 1980, weather/climate disasters have cost the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion.[1] Several billion-dollar weather/climate disasters affect the United States in an average year.[2]

Interactive map of mineral resources and mines across the United States

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Mineral Resources Data System catalogs information about mineral resources around the United States and the world. Using the map tool, users can zoom in to obtain reports and data on past and present mines, mine prospects, and processing plants.

All of the data can be downloaded for further use and analysis.

Map of earthquake probabilities across the United States

Ground shaking is the most powerful predictor of damage from an earthquake. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Seismic Hazard Map shows the strength of ground shaking that has a 1 in 50 chance of being exceeded in a particular place in the lower 48 states over a period of 50 years. These maps are used in determining building seismic codes, insurance rates, and other public decisions.

Map of geothermal power generation in each state

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) map of current and planned geothermal power production by state shows the nameplate capacity, the maximum manufacturer-rated output of a generator in megawatts, for geothermal energy in each state as of February 2015 (for more detailed and up-to-date information on geothermal energy development in the U.S., visit NREL's Geothermal Prospector web app). The numbers in white show the current installed capacity, while the numbers in yellow show the planned additions.


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