Geology and the Economy
Geology plays an important role in determining the industry of a particular area. Coal formation occurred millions of years ago due to geologic processes involving ancient organisms and their environment. Concentrations vary as does the type of coal.
For example, Pennsylvania, because of the geology unique to this area, is the primary source of the hardest coal, which is called anthracite. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, about 13 percent of the United States' land is underlain in coal deposits.
Because of their prevalence, fossil fuels such as coal, provide up to 85 percent of the nation's energy needs as estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy. One of the interesting facts about geology is that the physical structure and substance of the planet form the foundation of the entire U.S. economy because of the role of fossil fuels.
The reliance on fossil fuels, however, comes at a price. The burning of these fuels emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This fact has given rise to concerns that global warming will cause irreversible harm to the planet.