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What is natural gas?

Natural gas is a fuel that's used to heat buildings, cook food, dry clothes, heat water and even help produce electricity. It's sometimes called "gas" for short, but don't confuse it with the gasoline that runs your car. Gasoline is a liquid, while natural gas is... you guessed it ...a gas!

In fact, natural gas really is a mixture of gases that formed from the decayed remains of ancient plants and animals buried deep in the ground. The main ingredient in natural gas is methane.

Methane is colorless, odorless and lighter than air. It gives off a lot of heat and light when it burns, but doesn't produce smoke. That makes natural gas a good fuel for use in the home. Today, more than half the homes in the U.S. are heated by natural gas.

Natural gas is a popular fuel choice because it burns cleaner, hotter and brighter than other fossil fuels such as coal and oil. It's also reliable. Because natural gas pipes are buried safely underground, you aren't likely to lose service during stormy weather.


In what three states are fossils fuels found?