Energy and Environment | Business Roundtable

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What is Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.

The United States became the world’s largest natural gas producer in 2011 and the world’s largest oil producer in 2013.

U.S. oil production increased 68 percent between 2005 and 2014, and U.S. natural gas production increased 43 percent.

More than two-thirds of the growth in U.S. shale oil production between 2011 and 2013 came from the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale plays.

26 percent of the world’s coal deposits are in the United States, making it home to the largest estimated recoverable coal reserves in the world.

Non-hydropower renewable energy (e.g., solar, wind, biomass) accounted for 8 percent of total primary energy production in 2014, up from 5 percent in 2005.

The share of electricity generated from coal declined from 50 percent in 2005 to 39 percent in 2014, but coal remains the primary fuel for U.S. electricity production.

The share of electricity generated from natural gas increased from 19 percent in 2005 to 27 percent in 2014, making natural gas the second most frequently used fuel for U.S. electricity production. 

The share of electricity generated from nuclear power has remained relatively flat over the past decade at roughly 19 percent, making nuclear the third most frequently used fuel for U.S. electricity production.

The share of electricity generated from non-hydropower renewable energy sources increased from 2 percent in 2005 to 7 percent in 2014.

The share of electricity generated from wind increased from 0.4 percent in 2005 to 4.4 percent in 2014.

The share of electricity generated from solar increased from 0.01 percent in 2005 to 0.45 percent in 2014.

U.S. net energy imports as a share of total energy consumption declined to 11 percent in 2014 — the lowest level in nearly three decades — after peaking at 30 percent in 2005.

Nearly half (46 percent) of U.S. oil imports came from Canada and Mexico in 2014, while roughly 20 percent came from the Persian Gulf.

Approximately 10 percent of the natural gas the United States consumes is imported, with 98 percent of imports coming from Canada.

Approximately 65 percent of the natural gas the European Union consumed in 2013 was imported, up from 54 percent in 2004.

39 percent of the European Union’s natural gas imports were from Russia in 2013, down from 44 percent of imports a decade ago.

U.S. energy intensity (energy consumption per dollar of real GDP) has decreased by nearly 60 percent since 1970. 

The carbon intensity of the U.S. economy (million metric tons of carbon dioxide per dollar of real GDP) declined by 44 percent in the last 30 years (1985–2014) and by 20 percent since 2005.

The carbon intensity of the U.S. electric power sector (metric tons of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour of electricity generated) has declined by 21 percent in the last 30 years (1985–2014) and by 16 percent since 2005. 

Smog is down across the United States as national average ozone levels fell by 23 percent between 1990 and 2014, volatile organic compound (VOC) levels by 29 percent and nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels by 51 percent over the same period.

2014 was the Earth’s warmest year on record since 1880, when instrument-based recording began. With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2000.

The Earth’s average surface temperature has increased by approximately 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) since 1880, with the majority of that warming taking place during the past three decades.