Fossil Fuels – Coal, Natural Gas, and Oil
The majority of America’s energy, over 85%, comes from fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil. Fossil fuels earn their name because they were formed over millions of years by the heat from the Earth’s core and pressure from rock and soil on the remains (or “fossils”) of dead plants and animals. Unfortunately, when burned to release the energy stored inside, fossil fuels emit dangerous pollutants including ozone, particulate matter and carcinogens.
Green Energy – Nuclear, Solar, and Wind
Green energy, or energy that doesn’t release pollution when generating electricity, comes from a variety of sources including solar, nuclear, hydro and wind. Traditional green energy is produced from renewable sources, or energy sources that are naturally replenished in a short period of time. Unfortunately, with the exception of hydro, renewable sources of energy don’t operate continuously and therefore can’t meet the ongoing energy demands of our towns, cities and metropolises. Nuclear power is a green form of energy that generates large amounts of heat continuously when atoms are split. Currently, there are 104 nuclear reactors operating in the United States providing approximately 21% of the nation’s power.