United States Sources of Energy

In relation to the new impetus assumed, as we shall shortly see, by many branches of industrial activities, the USA is improving and enhancing the use of energy sources. In the coal sector, there is no discovery of new deposits, on the contrary there is a tendency to limit the exploitation of existing ones. In 1959, production was around 380 million tonnes, which keeps the USA in a leading position (the USSR is not far behind, while British production is only half that). Oil represents another US record: crude oil production was 331 million tons in 1958, 346.5 million in 1959. Today there are a dozen large fields in full efficiency; among the producing states in the forefront is always Texas, but the second place is no longer up to Louisiana, but to California, whose production is growing rapidly. In fourth place is Oklahoma. The most recent discoveries are those of West Texas (Midland region), Colorado (between Denver and Julesburg), Wyoming (Big Horn) and Dakota (Williston to Glendive in neighboring Montana); this last field, very extensive but with a productive aquifer at a depth of 3000 m, continues in Manitoba (Canada). Oil is now also extracted from the subsoil of the Gulf of Mexico. very extensive but with a productive aquifer at a depth of 3000 m, it continues in Manitoba (Canada). Oil is now also extracted from the subsoil of the Gulf of Mexico. very extensive but with a productive aquifer at a depth of 3000 m, it continues in Manitoba (Canada). Oil is now also extracted from the subsoil of the Gulf of Mexico.

Approximately 300,000 km of pipelines (pipelines) transporting crude from the oil fields to refineries or from these ports of export. The so-called Big Inch, which runs from Beaumont in Texas to Newark, is 2,500 km long; it has now been doubled by another finished product pipeline. The oil pipeline from Wink in Texas to Norwalk near Los Angeles is 1,525 km long. The capacity of the refineries (Cleveland, Toledo, Buffalo, Boston, New York, Jersey City and surroundings, Philadelphia, Baltimore, S. Francisco, Los Angeles, S. Pedro, etc.) is such that it can refine imported crude oils (Venezuela, Mexico and other countries of the American Mediterranean).

In some oil districts huge quantities of natural gas are produced (over 300 billion m 3 in recent years, half from Texas) distributed through pipelines (420,000 km) and used in many industries, as well as for domestic purposes. The gas used in New York homes comes from Texas direct piping.

Colossal progress has been made in the use of water energy: the USA now has about 620 artificial basins of various types and capacities; but many of them are multipurpose, that is, they are used not only for the production of hydroelectric energy (715-725 billion kWh per year), but also to supply water, especially for irrigation, as already mentioned, in the West, and secondarily for supplied with water for domestic use. Some of the largest basins also serve to contain the floods of rivers. The Hoover Dam on the Colorado creates a basin that is now the third largest in the world (see Colorado, in this App.); follow the Glen Canyon reservoir, those of Oahe, Garrison and Fort Peck on Missouri, that of Lake Roosevelt created by the dam of the Grand Coulee (see columbia, in this App.), that of Fleming George on the Green River (Colorado), that of Lake Rainy in Minnesota, etc.

The utilization programs of the major river basins must be coordinated, which naturally necessitates agreements between several states. Currently, the focus is mainly on four river basins, those of Tennessee, Missouri, Columbia and Colorado. The state offices are being replaced or supported by larger bodies, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which includes in its program, not only the construction of reservoirs, dams, with the aim of regulating rivers and facilitating their navigability., but also extensive measures against soil erosion, etc. (see tva in this App.). With similar or even more extensive tasks, the Missouri River Basin Authority began its operations in 1946which provides for works lasting at least thirty years. Programs are being implemented for the use of Niagara and San Lorenzo Falls (see in this App.).

Mining economy. – The following table provides the production data of the main minerals (and their derivatives) for the years 1957-1958.

Among the progress made in recent years, those relating to the research of uranium, which is in great increase especially in Colorado (Naturita, Uravan), in New Mexico and in Utah, for the production of molybdenum (Klimax in Colorado and This in New Mexico) and other rare minerals, mainly used in the manufacture of ferroalloys. Modest progress has been made in the production of the not many minerals missing in the country (tin, nickel, manganese, chromite, etc.) for which, in the current traffic conditions, it makes up for importation in an economically convenient way.

Industrial activities. – The general trends of the US industry – mass production of well-selected types, concentration in factories of colossal proportions controlled by a small number of large companies with very large capital (trusts) – are on the whole increasingly accentuated after the reorganization industrial activities so disturbed by the world war; also contributes to the extraordinary increase of scientific laboratories, annexed or connected to large industrial complexes, in which specialized scholars work to create new products, to perfect types, to experiment with new techniques, etc.

The 1950 census included over 4.5 million people employed in the metallurgical industries in the broad sense. The liveliest momentum is shown by the transport branch: construction of vehicles, aircraft, ships of all kinds.

Textile and related industries follow, which employed about 2,250,000 people. In the first place is always the cotton industry (22 million spindles, and half a million mechanical looms, including those used for rayon and similar products), but if we look at the sectors of the most lively development in the current period, the attention is recalled above all by artificial textiles and related products, of which the market is increasingly enriched: dacron, orlon, glass fibers, etc. are added to rayon, staple, nylon.

The food industries employ much more than a million people, the chemical industries (including rubber and its derivatives: kerosal, buna, etc.) 650,000 people, the timber and derivatives 700,000 people, the paper industry 400,000, the furniture factory 300,000. The most marked tendencies towards concentration demonstrate the dairy industries (e.g. Wisconsin alone supplies half of the product), the milling industry (Minneapolis), the timber industry (Tacoma), the synthetic rubber industry (Akron), the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, DDT (Houston), plastics, etc.

United States Sources of Energy