Energy Excursions

Texas-Sized Energy Consumption

Texas is a big state with a large population. The April 1, 2020 census recorded 29,145,505 residents.1U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). Quick Facts Texas. Retrieved June 18, 2021, from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/TX These residents consume a lot of energy. Texas is the largest energy-consuming state in the nation. If we look at the chart below, we can see how much natural gas is consumed in Texas annually. 2U.S. Energy Information Agency. (2021, April 15). Quick Facts. https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=TX 

According to the graph, how much natural gas was consumed in a year in Texas?

431 trillion Btu

Incorrect

993 trillion Btu

Incorrect

4,780 trillion Btu

Correct

Let’s go back to the graph we looked at earlier for U.S. Primary Energy Consumption by Source.3U.S. Energy Information Agency. (n.d.). Total Energy. 1.3 Primary Energy Consumption by Source. Retrieved June 18, 2021, from https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/browser

If we look at the data behind this graph, we can compare the natural gas energy consumption in Texas to that in the entire country for the same year (2019). From the graph estimate the consumption of natural gas in the U.S. for 2019—you will use that number in the calculation below.

What percent of total U.S. consumption does Texas contribute? Hint: remember that quadrillion is 1015 and trillion is 1012.

Texas contributes ~0.65% of total U.S. consumption of natural gas.

Incorrect

Texas contributes ~6.5% of total U.S. consumption of natural gas.

Incorrect

Texas contributes ~15% of total U.S. consumption of natural gas.

Correct

The United States consumed 32.197 x 1015 BTUs of natural gas. Texas consumed 4,779.5 x 1012 (=4.7795 x 1015) BTUs of natural gas. That's about 15%.

Texas contributes 1.5% of total U.S. consumption of natural gas.

Incorrect

It makes sense that if Texas consumes a larger amount of natural gas, she is also a bigger emitter of greenhouse gases compared to other states. 

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