Since 2008, there has been an energy revolution in the United States, constituted by a remarkable increase in the production of fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas). This dramatic and unanticipated surge in production has been made possible by stunning new technologies. Although much current attention focuses on renewable energy, the story of energy in the world and in the United States is essentially a tale of fossil fuel.

The total consumption of energy in the world is staggering. A key measure is million tons of oil equivalent (MTOE)—that is, the amount of energy contained in a million metric tons of oil. A metric ton is 1,000 kilograms, or 2,205 pounds. In 2015, the world consumed 13,147 MTOE, while the United States accounted for ...

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