U.S. still piggish, but no longer top hog

China has overtaken the United States to become the world’s biggest energy user, the head of the International Energy Agency announced last week. “Probably half of the oil demand increase comes from China,” Nobuo Tanaka told an industry conference. “Nobody knows when it [will] slow down.”

And 70 percent of China’s energy comes from coal, though the nation has been investing billions in U.S. shale and natural gas reserves, reportedly to learn more about that extraction technology.

Before the United States gets too self-congratulatory over the news as it slinks out of the energy-hog spotlight, much of China’s energy is used to make more stuff for Americans.