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America's Energy Sources Since 1776

Posted on 07-15-2022

We always think of fireworks and grilling during the celebration of America, but have you ever wondered how different energy sources today compare to 1776?  EIA put together an incredible graph to show the history of energy sources in America.

You can probably guess the source America started out with...wood.  As the industrial sector began to grow, water mills were the main power source.  By the late 19th century coal was king until petroleum products and natural gas surpassed coal in the 20th century.  

Petroleum, natural gas, and coal have been the primary energy sources for America in the last century and will likely continue in the future.

EIA: History of Energy Sources


(Graph image from


Did You Know?

A 600 megawatt natural gas plant can power 220,000 homes.

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