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Fossil

For the first time since 1995, U.S. oil production has surpassed imports. Explore the trend with our <a href="node/770751">interactive chart</a>. | Graphic by Daniel Wood, Energy Department.

For the first time since 1995, U.S. oil production has surpassed imports. Explore the trend with our interactive chart. | Graphic by Daniel Wood, Energy Department.

Fossil energy sources, including oil, coal and natural gas, are non-renewable resources that formed when prehistoric plants and animals died and were gradually buried by layers of rock. Over millions of years, different types of fossil fuels formed -- depending on what combination of organic matter was present, how long it was buried and what temperature and pressure conditions existed as time passed.

Today, fossil fuel industries drill or mine for these energy sources, burn them to produce electricity, or refine them for use as fuel for heating or transportation. Over the past 20 years, nearly three-fourths of human-caused emissions came from the burning of fossil fuels.

The Energy Department maintains emergency petroleum reserves, ensures responsible development of America’s oil and gas resources and executes natural gas regulatory responsibilities. In addition, scientists at the Energy Department’s National Labs are developing technologies to reduce carbon emissions and ensure fossil energy sources play a role in America’s clean energy future.

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Petra Nova Project Breaks Ground on World’s Largest Post-Combustion Carbon Capture Project
Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman (sixth from left) joins in the groundbreaking of the world's largest post-combustion carbon capture facility | Photo courtesy of the Energy Department.

The Houston-area Petra Nova project is designed to capture 1.4 million tons of CO2 per year -- making it the world's largest post-combustion carbon capture facility.

A Potential Path to Emissions-Free Fossil Energy
The National Energy Technology Laboratory's chemical looping reactor, above, is the only one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, and is pioneering the development of a promising low-carbon technology. | Photo courtesy of the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Emerging low-carbon technologies, like "chemical looping," are forging new pathways for using fossil fuels as part of a clean energy future.

Energy Secretary Moniz Visits Clean Coal Facility in Mississippi
On Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, Secretary Moniz and international energy officials toured Kemper, the nation's largest carbon capture and storage facility, in Liberty, Mississippi.

A small Mississippi town is making history with the largest carbon capture and storage plant in the U.S.

Carbon Pollution Being Captured, Stored and Used to Produce More Domestic Oil

A breakthrough project in Texas is using carbon capture, utilization and storage technology to safely secure carbon dioxide pollution underground while providing an economic benefit and increasing our energy security.

Energy Department Projects Focus on Sustainable Natural Gas Development
Today shale gas accounts for about 25 percent of our natural gas production. And experts believe this abundant supply will mean lower energy costs for millions of families; fewer greenhouse gas emissions; and more American jobs. | Photo courtesy of the EIA.

The Energy Department is investing in research and development to make natural gas production as safe and sustainable as possible.

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