As national and international debate on energy grows more intense, Americans increasingly need dependable, objective, and authoritative energy information. In its role as adviser to the federal government on science and technology policy, the National Research Council has conducted numerous studies on the topic of energy. The information on this site draws on that body of material and on other sources in order to offer a basic toolkit of facts and concepts to use in assessing various energy claims and proposals. (See a complete list of the Research Council’s relevant reports.) A companion print piece to this website can be found here.
The First in a Series
Energy is the first in a series of topics we will cover in the “What You Need to Know About…” program, which includes informational booklets and websites designed to engage readers in current topics in science, engineering, and medicine. These informational materials provide accurate information about complex issues that affect us as individuals and as a nation. Sound knowledge about such issues is critical if citizens are to evaluate debates and make informed decisions in our increasingly technological world.
The site is the companion to a publication written by Curt Suplee, based on an original draft by Allen Bard, Marilyn Brown, Mike Corradini, and Jeremy Mark. The content was edited by Michael Jensen, John Kotcher, Stephen Mautner, and Terrell Smith in collaboration with Jim Zucchetto, Alan Crane, and the National Research Council’s Board on Energy and Environmental Systems.
Special thanks to Paul Blumberg, Robert Fri, Richard Meserve, Larry Papay, Ari Patrinos, and Mark Thiemens for their review of the information on the site. Additional thanks to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for their contributions.
The site was designed and developed by Threespot, LLC.
Copyright 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
All artwork by Threespot Media, Inc., and copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Pie charts, bar graphs, and line graphs based on information from the Energy Information Administration except for “Our Energy Flow,” which is based on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's energy flow diagram.
For permission information regarding the use of any illustrations on this website, please contact us.
Board on Energy and Environmental Systems
Douglas M. Chapin,* Chair, MPR Associates, Inc.
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
National Research Council
Robert W. Fri, Vice Chair, Resources for the Future
Rakesh Agrawal,* Purdue University
Allen J. Bard,† University of Texas
Andrew Brown, Jr.,* Delphi Corporation
Marilyn Brown, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Georgia Institute of Technology
Michael L. Corradini,* University of Wisconsin, Madison
Paul A. DeCotis, State of New York, Office of the Governor
E. Linn Draper, Jr.,* American Electric Power, Inc.
Charles H. Goodman, Southern Company Services, Inc. (retired)
David G. Hawkins, Natural Resources Defense Council
James J. Markowsky,* American Electric Power Service Corporation (retired)
David K. Owens, Edison Electric Institute
William F. Powers,* Ford Motor Company (retired)
Michael P. Ramage,* ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (retired)
Maxine L. Savitz,* Honeywell, Inc. (retired)
Scott W. Tinker, University of Texas, Austin
* Member, National Academy of Engineering.
† Member, National Academy of Sciences.