Science for a Changing World

Energy and Minerals

The USGS provides unbiased science on the location, quantity, and quality of mineral and energy resources. This includes research on the economic and environmental effects of resource extraction and use.

Filter Total Items: 7
Date published: February 2, 2017

Forecasting the World’s Energy Resources

It is difficult to overstate the importance of energy to the American economy.  Managing this vital sector depends on knowing how many energy resources we have, how many we use and need, and how these resources are transported.

Date published: January 16, 2017

Tracking Critical Minerals to Ensure National Preparedness

On an ordinary Tuesday in 2014, David Pineault, an economist at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), reviewed his specialized reports and came to a startling conclusion: the United States needed to increase its stockpile of a basic manufacturing material with military applications—yttrium oxide, a material used in laser rangefinders. 

Date published: January 10, 2017

Advancing Wind Energy and Avoiding Wildlife Conflicts

Our Nation works to advance renewable energy and to avoid conflicts with and conserve wildlife.

Date published: January 4, 2017

Exploring Gas Hydrates as a Future Energy Source

In the past decade, the development of the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, and other shales has dominated the national consciousness regarding natural gas. But in Alaska, another form of natural gas has been the focus of research for decades—methane hydrate.

Date published: December 14, 2016

Cutting-Edge Tools to Explore Alaska’s Mineral Potential

Managing 72 million acres of Federal lands in Alaska is not easy, especially when the land’s many uses need to be balanced. There are several competing interests, including the development of mineral resources that are critical to the American economy.

Date published: November 20, 2016

Mapping Mineral Potential for Zambia’s Economic Growth

The loud hum of machinery pulses in the background as a massive truck carries away tons of rock, stirring up clouds of dust in its wake. Engineers in hard hats and coveralls walk purposefully amid the controlled chaos. This area is the heart of the copper mining industry in Zambia, a land-locked country in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Date published: November 1, 2016

Mineral Discovery Could Mean Billions for Michigan

For more than two decades, researchers, geologists, and investors had no idea they were standing above tremendous wealth. Thousands of feet deep beneath the surface of western Michigan, a potential multibillion-dollar potash deposit was discovered. Potash—a mineral salt containing high levels of potassium—is an ingredient in fertilizer essential for growing crops.