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fossil fuel

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  • A general term for combustible geologic deposits of carbon in reduced (organic) form and of biological origin, including coal, oil, natural gas, oil shales, and tar sands. A major concern is that they emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burnt, thus significantly contributing to the enhanced greenhouse effect.     (Source: Office of Policy: Global Warming: Glossary Term Detail)

  • A substance found beneath the Earth's surface that can be used as a source of energy. Petroleum (which is often used to make plastic), natural gas, and coal are fossil fuels.     (Source: Office of Solid Waste: Glossary! Term Detail)


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Last updated on Wednesday, February 1st, 2006
URL: http://www.epa.gov/trs/