Transportation Sector Energy Use

Transportation Sector Energy Use

The transportation sector used 17 percent more energy in 2004 than it did in 1994, an annual growth rate of 1.2 percent. Transportation's share of the nation's total energy consumption also grew between 1994 and 2004, from 26 to 27 percent (figure 14-1).

Still, transportation energy use has grown more slowly than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As a result, the amount of transportation energy used per dollar of GDP1 declined at an annual rate of 1.7 percent between 1994 and 2004 (figure 14-2).

Over 97 percent of all transportation energy consumed in 2003 and 2004 came from petroleum [1]. Total U.S. petroleum usage increased 16 percent between 1993 and 2003, with transportation responsible for 75 percent of that rise. In 2003, transportation consumed 66 percent of all petroleum (13.2 million barrels per day), up from 65 percent in 1993 (figure 14-3). Because over half of U.S. petroleum is imported, the United States , and especially the transportation sector, may be vulnerable to supply disruptions with fuel price fluctuations having the potential to contribute to economic instability.


1. U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review, table 2.5, available at, as of April 2005.

1 GDP is in chained 2000 dollars.