Oil, Coal, and Natural Gas

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Fossil fuels are fuels that are formed from natural processes, involving the decomposition of dead organism. The three different types of fossil fuels include oil, coal, and natural gas. Each of these fossil fuels have been used for centuries, with scientific evidence proving the use of coal as an energy source since 200 AD. The effects of each of these type of fuels on both the society and the economy will be explored, along with why these fuels are the best energy source.


Oil is used in home heating, automobiles, industrial productions, and a plethora of other utilities. Oil is easy to transport, inexpensive to use, and any advancement of technology or equipment needed to further develop this energy source will be easy to implement. By 2035, it is projected that oil sands will support over 900,000 jobs due to investments in production and processing. Oil also has a high heating value and this coupled with its low cost, allows oil to be the most used energy source in the world.


Coal is made of mainly carbon and is ideal for heating buildings and other structures. Coal is a very versatile energy source and can be used to produce energy in its gas, liquid, and solid forms. Using coal as an energy source is inexpensive, and the use of the ash that is produced by burning coal may also be used in concrete and roadways. Currently, coal is the most abundant fossil fuel available and it is estimated that the amount of coal available to date will be sufficient to use for generations to come.

Natural Gas

Natural gasses are a mixture of hydrocarbons and have been used to meet energy needs for nearly 200 hundred years. Natural gasses are a non-pollutant, have a high heating value, and the supply of this source in both the US and Canada is abundant. This means that this fuel type produces a lot of heat with little to no negative environmental effects, and it is also estimated that the amount of supply currently known to us will be available to use for many more years in the future.
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Economic Benefits

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  • Canada’s oil and natural gas industry paid a total of $18 billion to federal, provincial and local governments in the form of taxes and royalties in 2013.
  • Oil and gas industry companies make up 20-25% of the value of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
  • In 2012, the industry made $62 billion in capital investments focused on innovation and growth.
By: Sadiq, Sina, Turner, and Ahmed