The United States is the 2nd largest energy consumer in terms of total use in 2010. The U.S. ranks seventh in energy consumption per-capita after Canada and a number of small nations. Not included is the significant amount of energy used overseas in the production of retail and industrial goods consumed in the U.S.
The majority of this energy is derived from fossil fuels: in 2010, data showed 25% of the nation’s energy came from petroleum, 22% from coal, and 22% from natural gas. Nuclear power supplied 8.4% and renewable energy supplied 8%, which was mainly from hydroelectric dams and biomass but also included other renewable sources such as wind power, geothermal and solar energy. Energy consumption has increased at a faster rate than domestic energy production over the last fifty years in the U.S. (when they were roughly equal). This difference is now largely met through imports.
According to the Energy Information Administration‘s statistics, the per-capita energy consumption in the US has been somewhat consistent from the 1970s to today. The average has been 334 million British thermal units (BTUs) per person from 1980 to 2010. One explanation suggested for this is that the energy required to produce the increase in US consumption of manufactured equipment, cars, 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 has increased from 63.7 in 1980 to 75 million BTU’s per person in 2008. On the other hand, US “off-shoring” of manufacturing is sometimes exaggerated: US domestic manufacturing has grown by 50% since 1980.
Issues to consider:
1) Flooding -> http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/making-nuclear-power-safer/preventing-nuclear-accidents/flood-ri…
2) Drought -> http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120815/nuclear-power-plants-energy-nrc-drought-weather-heat-wate…
3) Fracking -> http://www.alternet.org/fracking/recipe-big-bang-permit-issued-frack-1-mile-nuclear-power-plant