Welcome to DoSomething.org, a global movement of 6 million young people making positive change, online and off! The 11 facts you want are below, and the sources for the facts are at the very bottom of the page. After you learn something, Do Something! Find out how to take action here.

  1. In the US, major energy sources are petroleum oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and renewable energy. Electricity is a secondary energy that is generated from these energy forms.
  2. K-12 school districts in the US spend $6 billion annually on energy. That’s more than they spend on computers and textbooks combined. “Energy vampires” are electronic devices that suck energy whenever they're plugged in, even if they're turned off. Go through your school and unplug energy vampires. Sign up for Don't Be a Sucker!
  3. In 2011, the US used 97.5 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy. Respectively, petroleum, natural gas and coal were the most used sources.
  4. Nuclear energy played little to no role in electricity generation 50 years ago. However in 2011, it provided more than 20% of the energy used to generate America’s electricity.
  5. Petroleum oil provided 18% of energy for electricity in 1973 and less than 1% in 2011.

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  1. In the US, electricity plants use more than 900 million short tons of coal to produce 40% of America’s electricity every year.
  2. The use of coal emits sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, heavy metals, carbon dioxide, and acid gases which are linked to acid rain, smog, global warming and health issues.
  3. In 2011, coal was the second highest cause of energy-related carbon emissions. Petroleum ranked first with 42%, followed by coal with 34% and natural gas emitted 24% of the energy-related carbon dioxide.
  4. While switching from coal to natural gas offers some near-term air quality and cost benefits, there is growing evidence that an overreliance on natural gas poses signifcant risks to consumers, the economy, and the climate.
  5. Residential energy efficiency programs can save residents money and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Nationwide, the residential sector is responsible for 17 percent of total U.S. green house gas emissions.
  6. With the energy efficiency America is striving for, the US carbon dioxide emissions would decrease by 4 billion metric tons.


  • 1

    National Academy of Sciences. "Supply and Demand." Web Accessed April 11, 2015.

  • 2

    The White House Office of the Press Secretary. "Fact Sheet and Overview." 2011. Web Accessed April 11, 2015.

  • 3

    U.S. Energy Information Administration. "International Energy Outlook 2013." Web Accessed April 11, 2015.

  • 4

    Williams, Matt. "WASTE-TO-ENERGY SUCCESS FACTORS IN SWEDEN AND THE UNITED STATES." American Council On Renewable Energy. Web Accessed April 11, 2015.

  • 5

    Institute for Energy Research. "Forty Years After the Oil Embargo.” 2013. Web Accessed April 11, 2015.

  • 6

    Freme, Fred. "U.S. Coal Supply and Demand: 2000 Review." U.S. Energy Information Administration. Web Accessed April 18, 2015.

  • 7

    Union of Concerned Scientists. "How Coal Works." Web Accessed April 18, 2015.

  • 8

    U.S. Department of Energy. "U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2012." 2013. Web Accessed April 18, 2015.

  • 9

    Union of Concerned Scientists. "Burning Coal, Burning Cash: Ranking the States that Import the Most Coal — 2014 Update." Web Accessed April 18, 2015.

  • 10

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Residential Energy Efficiency." Web Accessed April 18, 2015.

  • 11

    University of Michigan. "Kill-A-Watt Competition." Web Accessed April 18, 2015.

Tackle a campaign to make the world suck less.

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