What is 'Energy Information Administration - EIA'

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is a government agency formed in 1977. The EIA is responsible for objectively collecting energy data, conducting analysis and making forecasts. The EIA's reports contain information regarding energy-related topics such as future energy inventories, demand and prices. Its data, analysis and reports are available online to both members of the public and the private sector.

BREAKING DOWN 'Energy Information Administration - EIA'

The Energy Information Administration publishes energy-related information and analysis on a regular basis. In recent years, most of the EIA's content has been published through its website. Every weekday, the EIA publishes Today in Energy, a timely story highlighting current energy issues. This story might focus on natural gas pipeline capacity in a specific region of the country, for example. Or it might highlight how changing energy efficiency and fuel economy standards affect energy consumption. These stories are typically accompanied by a graph or chart.

One of the most renowned reports published by the EIA is called This Week In Petroleum. This report is released every Wednesday and contains commentary regarding changes in inventory, demand and other data for crude oil and other petroleum products such as gasoline, distillates and propane. Usually, when this report shows unexpected inventory changes in crude oil and gasoline, it causes a ripple effect across the market, increasing or decreasing what consumers pay at the gas pumps.

The EIA website also includes information aimed at children, teachers and a general audience. Weekly updates are provided on a number of subjects, including petroleum, natural gas and gasoline. The Monthly Energy Review provides data on U.S. energy consumption going back to 1949. In addition, the EIA regular publishes short-term and long-term energy projections. It also publishes energy data regarding other countries, with statistics on energy production, consumption, imports and exports.

The history of the Energy Information Administration

The origins of the Energy Information Administration lie in the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974, which created the Federal Energy Administration (FEA). This agency was the first in the U.S. to focus primarily on energy. One of the mandates of the act was that the FEA would gather and analyze information related to energy. The act also empowered the FEA to collect data from energy producing and consuming firms.

In 1977, the Department of Energy Organization Act created the Department of Energy, and along with it the Energy Information Administration. The EIA was created to be the U.S. government's authority on energy data. 

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