Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
The specialization of the American economy obscures the identity of the ultimate users of energy, even from themselves. As a result consumers remain ignorant of the amount of energy which they use, and of the efficiency of that usage.1 Direct personal use of energy in the United States, such as electricity and natural gas for home heating, cooking and lighting, and gasoline for private automobiles, accounts for only about one-third of national energy use.2 Usage by industry and government to provide for the intermediate and final goods and services, for which we as individuals ultimately pay through our purchases and taxes, accounts for the remainder. To all but the most sophisticated consumers, this two-thirds portion of our actual energy demand is nearly invisible.
Michael B. Gerrard,
Disclosure of Hidden Energy Demands: A New Challenge for NEPA,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/804