Natural gas is a major and essential part of the U.S. energy market, amounting to 25 percent of overall energy use and more than 20 percent of electrical production, according to the New York Times. But to fully understand gas's impact, you have to take a close look at a variety of statistics measuring usage across a number of industries.
Fueling Households and Mass Transit
Let's start with the domestic arena. According to American Gas Association, a natural gas industry group, you'll find 64 million natural gas customers in the United States, amounting to 61 percent of U.S. households. Natural gas is less widely used in commercial settings -- with only 14 percent of U.S. natural gas consumption attributed to businesses -- but it is used in this sector for anything from heating, to air conditioning, to generating power, the association says.
Natural gas really thrives in heavy industry. A third of U.S. natural gas consumption is attributed to what's broadly labeled the industrial sector of the economy, which includes manufacturing and factories, according to the association. Mass transit is also a major natural gas consumer; at least 130,000 city buses, delivery vehicles, trash trucks and the like run on natural gas, often touted as a cleaner fuel for transportation than gasoline or diesel fuel.