The transportation sector consists of private and public vehicles that move people and commodities. Included are automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, railroads, aircraft, ships, barges, and natural gas pipelines. Natural gas use reflects the fuel needed to move natural gas through a pipeline to end users in the residential, commercial, industrial, and electric power sectors. Since 1990, natural gas consumption also includes natural gas consumed as vehicle fuel.
Between 2011 and 2012, transportation sector energy use decreased 3.0 percent to 196.9 trillion British thermal units (Btu). Petroleum use decreased 2.4 percent and renewable energy use decreased 1.3 percent from 2011. (Renewable energy consisted of ethanol.) Natural gas use decreased 17.3 percent. If there was any consumption of coal, electricity, or residual fuel in 2012, the amounts were so small that the numbers rounded to zero in this table.
In 2012, nearly all of the transportation sector energy needs were met by petroleum products (94 percent). Motor gasoline (52 percent), diesel fuel (44 percent), and jet fuel (3 percent) made up the majority of the petroleum products consumed by the transportation sector; each of the rest of the petroleum products comprised less than 1 percent. Natural gas was 4.0 percent, and ethanol was 2.5 percent of the energy consumed in the transportation sector.