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what is fossil fuel

Fossil fuels are made from decomposing plants and animals. These fuels are found in the Earth’s crust and contain carbon and hydrogen, which can be burned for energy. Coal, oil, and natural gas are examples of fossil fuels. Coal is a material usually found in sedimentary rock deposits where rock and dead plant and animal matter are piled up in layers. More than 50 percent of a piece of coal’s weight must be from fossilized plants. Oil is originally found as a solid material between layers of sedimentary rock, like shale. This material is heated in order to produce the thick oil that can be used to make gasoline. Natural gas is usually found in pockets above oil deposits. It can also be found in sedimentary rock layers that don’t contain oil. Natural gas is primarily made up of methane.

According to the National Academies of Sciences, 81 percent of the total energy used in the United States comes from coal, oil, and natural gas. This is the energy that is used to heat and provide electricity to homes and businesses and to run cars and factories. Unfortunately, fossil fuels are a nonrenewable resource and waiting millions of years for new coal, oil, and natural gas deposits to form is not a realistic solution. Fossil fuels are also responsible for almost three-fourths of the emissions from human activities in the last 20 years. Now, scientists and engineers have been looking for ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and to make burning these fuels cleaner and healthier for the environment.

Scientists across the country and around the world are trying to find solutions to fossil fuel problems so that there is enough fuel and a healthy environment to sustain human life and activities in the future. The United States Department of Energy is working on technologies to make commercially available natural-gas-powered vehicles. They are also trying to make coal burning and oil drilling cleaner. Researchers at Stanford University in California have been using greener technologies to figure out a way to burn fossil fuels while lessening their impact on the environment. One solution is to use more natural gas, which emits 50 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than coal does. The Stanford team is also trying to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it underground—a process called carbon capture and sequestration. Scientists at both Stanford and the University of Bath in the United Kingdom are trying something completely new by using carbon dioxide and sugar to make renewable plastic.

Fossil fuels lobby” is a term used to label the paid representatives of corporations involved in the fossil fuel industry (oilgascoal), as well as related industries like chemicalsplasticsaviation and other transportation.[79] Because of their wealth and the importance of energy, transport and chemical industries to local, national and international economies, these lobbies have the capacity and money to attempt to have outsized influence governmental policy. In particular, the lobbies have been known to obstruct policy related to environmental protectionenvironmental health and climate action.[80

Lobbying activities

Lobbies are active in most fossil-fuel intensive economies with democratic governance, with reporting on the lobbies most prominent in Canada, Australia, the United States and Europe, however the lobbies are present in many parts of the world. Big Oil companies such as ExxonMobilShellBPTotalEnergiesChevron Corporation, and ConocoPhillips are among the largest corporations associated with the fossil fuels lobby.[81] The American Petroleum Institute is a powerful industry lobbyist for Big Oil with significant clout in Washington, D.C.[82][83][84]Some observers have also been critical of the presence of major fossil fuel companies at global forums for decision making, like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,[85]Paris Climate Agreement negotiations,[85] the Plastic and other international forums. The lobby is known for exploiting international crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic,[86] or the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine,[87][88] to try to roll back existing regulations or justify new fossil fuel development.[86][87]

See also

Footnotes

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  3. Jump up to:a b “thermochemistry of fossil fuel formation” (PDF).
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  23. ^ “fossil”Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.) – “fossil […] n. […] Something preserved in the ground, esp. in petrified form in rock, and recognizable as the remains of a living organism of a former geological period, or as preserving an impression or trace of such an organism.”
  24. ^ Schmidt-Rohr, K. (2015). “Why Combustions Are Always Exothermic, Yielding About 418 kJ per Mole of O2“, J. Chem. Educ. 92: 2094-2099. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.5b00333
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  28. ^ Bilkadi, Zayn (1992). “Bulls From the Sea: Ancient Oil Industries”. Aramco World. Archived from the original on 13 November 2007.
  29. ^ Ball, Max W.; Douglas Ball; Daniel S. Turner (1965). This Fascinating Oil Business. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. ISBN 978-0-672-50829-5.
  30. ^ Kaldany, Rashad, Director Oil, Gas, Mining and Chemicals Dept, World Bank (13 December 2006). Global Gas Flaring Reduction: A Time for Action! (PDF). Global Forum on Flaring & Gas Utilization. Paris. Retrieved 9 September 2007.
  31. ^ “Oil Sands Global Market Potential 2007”. Retrieved 9 September 2007.
  32. ^ Editor, Damian Carrington Environment (12 December 2017). “Insurance giant Axa dumps investments in tar sands pipelines”The Guardian. Retrieved 24 December 2017. {{cite news}}|last1= has generic name (help)
  33. ^ Eating Fossil FuelsEnergyBulletinArchived June 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ “Soaring fertilizer prices put global food security at risk”Axios. 6 May 2022.
  35. ^ Erisman, Jan Willem; MA Sutton, J Galloway, Z Klimont, W Winiwarter (October 2008). “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world”Nature Geoscience1 (10): 636–639. Bibcode:2008NatGe…1..636Edoi:10.1038/ngeo325. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010.
  36. ^ “Fears global energy crisis could lead to famine in vulnerable countries”The Guardian. 20 October 2021.
  37. ^ Oswald Spengler (1932). Man and Technics (PDF). Alfred A. KnopfISBN 0-8371-8875-X. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  38. ^ Griffin, Rodman (10 July 1992). “Alternative Energy”. 2 (2): 573–596.
  39. Jump up to:a b Michael Stephenson (2018). Energy and Climate Change: An Introduction to Geological Controls, Interventions and MitigationsElsevierISBN 978-0128120217.
  40. ^ Neukom, Raphael; Barboza, Luis A.; Erb, Michael P.; Shi, Feng; et al. (2019). “Consistent multidecadal variability in global temperature reconstructions and simulations over the Common Era”Nature Geoscience12 (8): 643–649. Bibcode:2019NatGe..12..643Pdoi:10.1038/s41561-019-0400-0ISSN 1752-0908PMC 6675609PMID 31372180.

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