America's Energy Situation In 15 Maps

Wind Power Map

Photo: AWS Truepowe

American energy is at a crossroads.  Low natural gas prices have been a boon for consumers, but have put a crimp in producers’ bottom lines and ripped up parts of the coal industry.

Meanwhile, hydrofracking for the gas itself remains as controversial as ever. It’ s an economic windfall for some residents and an out-of-control hazard for others.  

We wanted to try to capture these issues visually, so we turned to our favourite graphic aid: maps. 

They show where we are now and where we’re likely to be in the future.

Refining requirements play a major role in determining pump price. Stricter requirements are concentrated around urban areas.

Proximity to the Gulf, America's oil breadbasket, also affects price.

Which is why West Coast prices will always be highest, and prices in the South lower.

But oil is a global commodity.

So even if we have a lot of proven reserves...

OPEC, which has the most reserves, remains the world's price referee.

Plus, our consumption is still off the charts, which also doesn't help prices.

Meanwhile, natural gas production has ramped up, especially in Pennsylvania.

Which has helped flatten prices across the country.

But natural gas development has pressured coal producers, especially in West Virginia.

Finally, renewables. It would appear we're doing alright in wind production.

Until one realises how much potential we're missing out on.

It's a similar story for solar.

The resources for geothermal power are also there.

But renewable production remains subdued nationwide.

See who's taking advantage of renewable energy

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