quick glance at how much Nebraskans spent for energy over nearly three decades,
provides a snapshot of the impact energy use and prices have had on our lives.
In 1970, Americans gathered for the first Earth Day -- it was called the First National Environmental Teach-In then. "Bridge Over Troubled Water " topped the charts and bread cost 24 cents a loaf, eggs were $1.23 a dozen and a quart of milk was 33 cents. That year, Nebraskans' total energy bill was $667 million. Sixty percent of the bill was spent on oil-based products such as gasoline and diesel fuel.
By 1976, and after the first of the oil price shocks, Nebraskans' total energy bill had doubled to more than $1.4 billion. Five years later the bill had doubled again to $2.7 billion, after the second price shock. While the cost of petroleum products had soared to nearly $1.7 billion, oil's share of the total energy bill was 62 percent, not much different than in 1970. By 1997, energy expenditures hit $3.8 billion, nearly six times the amount spent in 1970.
A 40-year look at energy use in Nebraska is also one of the newly updated series that is now on the Internet. In 1960, Nebraskans used a little more than 308 trillion British thermal units. Nearly four decades later in 1999, Nebraskans had doubled their energy consumption to 602 trillion British thermal units. (A British thermal unit is a standard measure of heat energy.) Surprisingly, Nebraskans' energy expenditures in 1970 were 11.8 percent of personal income, but by 1997 expenditures had declined to just 9.4 percent of personal income.
The updated Nebraska statistics database is now accessible from the agency's web site at www.nol.org/home/NEO At the Energy Office's Energy Statistics page. The screen lists all of the data series maintained by the agency. At the time of publication, the State Totals, Petroleum and Motor Vehicle information have been updated. Data in the remaining sections is based on Nebraska Energy Statistics, 1960-1997.
The date of the last modification and the next major update is listed at the bottom of each data series.
All dollar amounts in the database have not been adjusted for inflation.
Return to the September 2001 Newsletter