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U.S. Energy Production Through the Years

December 10, 2014 - 1:00pm


US Energy Production Through the Years

Click on each state to learn more about how much energy it produces

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Recently, we broke down energy production by state and showed you how your state’s energy consumption stacks up against the national average. We also looked at how much you spend on energy and how that has changed over the last 20 years.

Next, we want to explore how energy production has changed over the last two decades.

To do that, we created a collection of maps that lets you step through the last 20 years and see how state-by-state production within each energy industry increased or decreased. It also makes it simple to understand the distribution of each energy industry geographically around our country. For instance, we can see that crude oil and natural gas have their largest concentration in the Southern Gulf states, whereas nuclear power appears most in the East and coal appears most in the Appalachian Mountains and in the Plains.  

What is perhaps most compelling about this visualization is the way we see energy production growing in nearly every field over the last two decades. Between 1993 and 2012 -- the most recent year of data that we have in full from the State Energy Data System (SEDS) -- total U.S. energy production has increased from 68 quadrillion Btu (also called quads) to 79 quadrillion Btu, a growth of 11 quadrillion Btu or 16 percent. In that same time frame, every energy industry increased its production, except for crude oil.

We don't have total data for the last two years, but we do know that even crude oil has made up that ground and is producing more oil each day than we did in the early 1990s. Nuclear energy has grown steadily, while other types of energy have experienced volatile production year-to-year, such as coal and renewable energy. Biofuels such as ethanol were virtually non-existent in 1993 and have grown from 0.17 quads to 1.8 quads in the last 20 years, a 10-fold increase. Similarly, natural gas has increased by 33 percent in the last seven years alone, and has continued to grow since then in leaps and bounds.


At the state level, 33 states and the Gulf of Mexico saw an increase in energy production over the last 20 years. Of those that saw an increase, eight of them increased by more than 100 percent -- with South Dakota increasing 518 percent, Iowa increasing 378 percent and North Dakota increasing by 209 percent. Why so much increase in the Great Plains? Explore the map above to find out! Wyoming, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico saw the greatest increase in volume (as opposed to percentage) each, increasing by over 2.5 quadrillion Btu over the last 20 years. Put differently, on average over the last 20 years, Wyoming has added a Missouri-sized chunk of energy (over 200 trillion Btu) to its total production each year.

All of these facts demonstrate a strong and growing energy economy, as all sectors contribute to our all-of-the-above energy strategy. If you are interested in crunching the numbers yourself, you can find the raw data at the SEDS data page here, several of the worked up data sheets here, and a ready-to-go TopoJSON with all of the data here. If you find something interesting, let us know by tweeting at us @ENERGY or commenting on our Facebook page.