Pennsylvania is moving up the energy production rankings.
Based on the latest available data, the five top energy producing states in order are: Texas, Wyoming, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania. www.eia.gov/state/seds/sep_prod/pdf/P5.pdf. That ranking is based upon 2010 data for coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energy production.
When 2011 data is collected, Pennsylvania will jump over Louisiana and West Virginia to become
the third biggest energy producer, because of a huge increase in natural gas production that took place in the Commonwealth last year. Among the states, Pennsylvania will soon rank second for nuclear production, third for natural gas, and fourth for coal.
At the other end of the energy production spectrum sits 5 states that produce the least energy. They are Vermont, Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii, and Nevada. States that produce little energy rely on energy imports from states that produce a great deal to keep their economies and communities functioning. The interstate commerce of energy is a vital daily exercise all across our land.
Jobs are a major product of that commerce and energy production. The 5 biggest energy producing states all have unemployment rates below the national average, but the same cannot be said about the 5 states producing the least energy. Rhode Island and Nevada are among the 5 states with the highest unemployment rates, though Vermont enjoys a low rate of unemployment.
Hosting energy production has economic benefits for energy producing states as well as challenges. Wind farms, nuclear plants, gas production, coal mining, solar systems, biofuels all trigger controversy and sometimes intense opposition to their development because every energy source impacts the environment to some degree.
While battles to stop wind farms or gas production continue, no American stops using energy. Every American should use energy wisely and be thankful for the energy that comes from America's top 5 energy producing states.