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Transportation Now Has Higher CO2 Emissions Than Power Generation

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U.S. electric power sector emissions continue to drop to historic levels.

That's according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which found that on a 12-month rolling total basis, power sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have consistently fallen below transportation sector CO2 emissions for the first time since the late 1970s. 

From October 2015 through September 2016, U.S. CO2 emissions from the U.S. power sector were 1,803 million metric tons (MMmt) while transportation sector emissions were slightly higher at reached 1,893 MMmt.

The chart below illustrates monthly energy-related CO2 emissions from both sectors over the past three decades. 

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

As the chart shows, power sector emissions have generally been trending lower since 2007, with emissions from the sector dropping to the lowest point on an annual basis since 1993. 

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What's driving the decrease? Mild weather, flattening electricity demand thanks to energy management and shifts in the U.S. generation mix – especially growth in natural gas-fired power generation and renewables – have all helped tamp down the sector's CO2 emissions.

While the EIA estimates energy-related CO2 emissions declined by 1.3 percent last year, they are projected to slightly increase 0.9 percent in 2017. 

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Posted: February 03, 2017