US energy-related emissions hit 20-year low

Posted at August 3, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on US energy-related emissions hit 20-year low

US CO2 emissions from energy use during the first three months of the year were down to their lowest level in 20 years, according to the government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Emissions are usually at their highest during the first quarter of the year because of high demand for heating as temperatures fall.

But this year, a particularly mild winter has led to less heating demand and, therefore, energy use. Meanwhile, low wholesale gas prices have led to a decline in coal-fired electricity generation.

The final factor reported by the US EIA is a fall in gasoline demand.

The three factors taken together cut emissions from energy consumption by 8% compared with the same period last year to 1.34 billion metric tons.

The EIA reports that coal-related CO2 emissions were down 18% on last year to the lowest level since 1986.

The trend looks set to continue as the US moves toward more gas-powered electricity generation.

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Related stories:
EPA confirms intentions to curb largest US emitters (5-Jul)
US EPA’s right to limit emissions from power plants upheld (28-Jun)
European ‘traded’ emissions down 2% in 2011 (17-May)
UK greenhouse gas emissions down 7% in 2011 (30-Mar)

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