Before I ask my question, it's important that you know how I understand the underlying physics of circuits, so you could point out any misunderstandings or incomplete thoughts. A battery creates an electric potential difference between its two terminals, changing the electric field around it (the field already exists in space, but the battery gives it values other than 0). When the battery is connected a circuit, this electric field change is channeled through the circuit. The potential difference created by the battery can then push the electrons (the force is exerted through the electric field), giving them a forward motion in addition to their already random motion. However, this flow of charge isn't the same as the flow of energy, because the Poynting vector must be perpendicular to the the flow of charge. Thus, the energy must flow out of the battery into the field, where it can then flow back into the circuit as needed (ie. it powers a lightbulb).
However, my concern with this understanding is that the energy might not be conserved since energy is needed both to get the charge to flow and to power the lightbulb. How is it possible that the battery generates enough energy to cause an electromotive force to cause the electrons to move (this is a force applied over a distance, so it must use energy), but then also enough for the energy to flow to power the lightbulb?
Furthermore, how is it possible for the applied voltage of a battery to resistors running in parallel to be the same as the total voltage for the circuit if the energy outputted by the battery is finite?