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U.S. Energy-Related CO2 Emissions Have Fallen 14% Since 2005

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U.S. energy-related carbon emissions continue to drop. 

That's according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which found that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – those related to energy consumption in all major economic sectors – fell 1.7 percent to 5,170 million metric tons (MMmt) in 2016. The decrease follows a 2.7 percent drop in 2015 and an overall 14 percent drop since 2005. 

The chart below compares U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by economic sector over the past decade. 

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

What has accounted for the overall decrease in energy-related CO2 emissions? One major factor was increased power generation from natural gas and renewable resources, which cut power sector emissions by nearly five percent last year. Warmer weather during the winter months in key consumption regions also led to reduced energy use and emissions. Both factors helped power sector emissions fall below the transportation sector for the first time since 1970s. 

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As the EIA report underscores, the nation's changing generation mix is having a significant effect on carbon emissions. Our most recent Energy Market Update video highlights the impact of PJM's growing shift from coal-fired generation to natural gas: 

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Posted: April 12, 2017