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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 to 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 guessed it...a gas!

In fact, natural gas is really a mixture of gases that formed from the decayed remains of ancient plants and animals buried deep in the earth. 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 like 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?