Total consumption of fossil fuels in the United States, including petroleum, natural gas, and coal, dropped to 72.9 quadrillion Btu (British thermal units) in 2020. This was down 9% from 2019 and was the lowest level reached since 1991. The charts below shows fossil fuel consumption by source and sector, and also illustrates fossil fuels used for non-combustion industrial purposes (i.e. making chemicals and plastics). This massive decline in consumption marked the largest annual decrease in both absolute and percentage terms since 1949. Economic and social responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 were the driving force of this decline, as lockdowns forced businesses to shutter and people to “shelter in place” for extended periods of time.