Americans are using less energy than ever before, while simultaneously spending less money thanks to cheap oil and natural gas.
Energy consumption per person in United States has declined substantially in the last decade, according to this Human Progress graph.
Meanwhile, America is using less energy to produce more economic output.
This abundance of energy is provided by hydraulic fracturing or fracking, which helped America surpass Russia in early 2015 as the world’s largest and fastest-growing producer of oil and natural gas. Energy prices dropped 41 percent over 2015 due to fracking, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Cheap energy prices especially benefit the poor and ethnic minorities, who spend far higher proportions of their income on energy than the average household, according to a study by the Pacific Research Institute.
When average energy spending rose in 2014 from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent of annual income for the typical household, the average African-American household’s annual spending rose from 4.5 percent to 5.8 percent. Lower-income black communities bore an even larger burden and ended up spending 26 percent of their household income on energy, according to the Pacific Research Institute study.
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