SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Energy in the United States

Energy in the United States comes from fossil fuels: in 2010, data showed that 25% of the nation's energy originates from petroleum, 22% from coal, 22% from natural gas. Nuclear energy supplied 8.4% and renewable energy supplied 8% from hydroelectric dams and biomass. The United States was the second-largest energy consumer in 2010 after China; the country is ranked seventh in energy consumption per capita after Canada and several small nations. As of 2006, the country's energy consumption had increased more than domestic energy production over the last 50 years in the nation; this difference was met through imports. Not included is the significant amount of energy used overseas in the production of retail and industrial goods consumed in the United States. According to the Energy Information Administration's statistics, the per-capita energy consumption in the US has been somewhat consistent from the 1970s to the present time; the average was about 334 million British thermal units per person from 1980 to 2010.

One explanation suggested that the energy required to increase the nation's consumption of manufactured equipment and other goods has been shifted to other countries producing and transporting those goods to the US with a corresponding shift of green house gases and pollution. In comparison, the world average increased from 63.7 to 75 million BTU per person between 1980 and 2008. From its founding until the late 19th century, the United States was a agrarian country with abundant forests. During this period, energy consumption overwhelmingly focused on available firewood. Rapid industrialization of the economy and the growth of railroads led to increased use of coal, by 1885 it had eclipsed wood as the nation's primary energy source. Coal remained dominant for the next seven decades, but by 1950, it was surpassed in turn by both petroleum and natural gas; the 1973 oil embargo precipitated an energy crisis in the United States. In 2007, coal consumption was the highest it has been, with it being used to generate electricity.

Natural gas has replaced coal as the preferred source of heating in homes and industrial furnaces, which burns cleaner and is easier to transport. Although total energy use increased by a factor of 50 between 1850 and 2000, energy use per capita increased only by a factor of four; as of 2009, United States per-capita energy use had declined to 7.075 tonnes of oil equivalent, 12% less than 2000, in 2010, to levels not seen since the 1960s. At the beginning of the 20th century, petroleum was a minor resource used to manufacture lubricants and fuel for kerosene and oil lamps. One hundred years it had become the preeminent energy source for the United States and the rest of the world; this rise paralleled the emergence of the automobile as a major force in American culture and the economy. While petroleum is used as a source for plastics and other chemicals, powers various industrial processes, today two-thirds of oil consumption in the US is in the form of its derived transportation fuels. Oil's unique qualities for transportation fuels in terms of energy content, cost of production, speed of refueling all contributed to it being used over other fuels.

In June 2010, the American Energy Innovation Council, a group which includes Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft. Gates endorsed the administration's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, but said, not possible with today's technology or politicism, he said that the only way to find such disruptive new technology was to pour large sums of money at the problem. The group notes that the federal government spends less than $5 billion a year on energy research and development, not counting one-time stimulus projects. About $30 billion is spent annually on health research and more than $80 billion on military research and development, they advocate for a jump in spending on basic energy research. Note: Sum of components may not equal 100% due to independent rounding. Primary energy use in the United States was 90,558 petajoules or about 294,480 megajoules per person in 2009. Primary energy use was 3,960 PJ less in the United States than in China in 2009; the share of energy import was 26% of the primary energy use.

The energy import declined about 22% and the annual CO2 emissions about 10% in 2009 compared to 2004. Oil is one of the largest sources of energy in the United States; the United States influences world oil reserves for both development. As the 20th century progressed, petroleum gained increasing importance by providing heating and electricity to the commercial and industrial sectors. Oil was used in transportation; as automobiles became more affordable, demand for oil rose. Since the rise of the automobile industry, oil price and production have all increased as well. Between 1900 and 1980, fuel was directly correlated with Gross National Product. Furthermore, oil shocks have coincided with recessions, the government has responded to oil shocks in several ways. In the 1920s, oil prices were peaking and many commentators believed that oil supplies were running out. Congress was confronted by requests to augment supplies, so a generous depletion allowance was enacted for producers in 1926, which increased investment returns substantially.

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Jacek Salij

Jacek Salij OP is a Polish theologian and Thomist, Roman Catholic priest, translator and publicist. During the years 1960-1967 he studied theology at The Dominican Philosophical-Theological College in Cracow, followed by studies during the years 1968-1970 at The Academy of Catholic Theology in Warsaw. In 1971, he obtained the title Doctor of Law and obtained a post-doctorate diploma in 1979. In 1984, he worked at The Catholic University of Leuven. In 1990, he was appointed extraordinary professor of The Academy of Catholic Theology, Warsaw and in 1992 became an ordinary professor of this institution. At present, he is Director of the Chair of Dogmatic Theology at the University of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski and Consultant to the Section of Theological Studies in the Polish episcopate's Commission for the Teaching of the Faith, he lectures in dogmatic theology at the UKSW and at the Dominican Philosophical-Theological College in the Służew district of Warsaw. He is a member of the Committee for Theological Studies of PAN and of the Polish section of the PEN Club.

The chief areas of his scientific interests are: history of dogmas, dogmatic theology, theology of God, philosophy of St. Thomas and scholasticism and bioethics, he is the author of scientific dissertations and translations. He contributes to the monthly "W drodze", where for the last 30 years he has been running a column entitled "For Those Seeking the Way", in which he replies to various questions posed by the readers; this popular presentation of the Faith has become the basis for the publication of many of his books that give answers to the most burning questions of today. In 2004, during the 10th Fair for Catholic Publishers, he obtained the FENIKS 2004 award "for the tireless popularisation of theological knowledge in Poland in various publications” On the 3 of May 2007, The President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, awarded Fr Jacek Salij with the Commander’s Cross with Star of Order of Poland Reborn

Pachysandra procumbens

Pachysandra procumbens, the Allegheny pachysandra or Allegheny spurge, is a flowering plant in the family Buxaceae, native to the southeast United States from West Virginia and Kentucky south to Florida, west to Louisiana. The name Allegheny is sometimes spelled Alleghany, it is an evergreen subshrub, growing to at most 30 cm high less. The leaves are 5–10 cm long, with a coarsely toothed margin; the flowers are small, produced several together on a terminal raceme 2–3 cm long. Pachysandra procumbens is a shrubby ground cover which grows 8-12" tall and spreads indefinitely by rhizomes to form a dense carpet of matte blue-green leaves mottled with purple and white, it is native to woodlands from North Kentucky south to Florida and Texas. Ovate to suborbicular leaves are coarsely untoothed at the base. Leaves are deciduous in USDA Zones 5 and 6 but semi-evergreen to evergreen in Zones 7 to 9. Where evergreen, the leaves may appear worn and tattered by mid winter. Tiny, greenish white to white flowers bloom in terminal spikes in early spring before the new leaves arrive.

Genus name comes is in reference to the male parts of the flower. Specific epithet from Latin means trailing in reference to the rhizomatous ground cover habit, it spreads to form a dense carpet 8-10” tall. Allegheny pachysandra performs well in a variety of soils from moist to dry and a range of soil pH as long as it is growing in partial to full shade; this woodland plant is considered by many to be deer and drought resistant. "Pachysandra procumbens". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture