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Energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States declined by 2.8 percent last year, offsetting a 2.9-percent carbon emissions increase in 2018, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday.
CO2 emissions related to energy use in 2019 dropped more than energy consumption in the United States, which fell by 0.9 percent in 2019, the EIA has estimated.
The 2019 drop in CO2 emissions in the energy sector offset the prior year’s increase in those emissions, which was the only annual rise in CO2 energy-related emissions in the past five years.
In 2018, higher natural gas consumption due to extreme summer and winter weather and increased petroleum demand in transportation in a strong economy resulted in the United States reversing several years of CO2 emissions reductions in the energy sector. Back in 2018, U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions increased compared to 2017, primarily due to the higher emissions from natural gas and petroleum. The emissions increase in 2018 was the first such annual rise since 2014, the EIA said in November 2019. Even with the 2018 rise, the emissions in 2018 were still 12 percent lower than the energy-related emissions back in 2005, according to EIA’s data series.
By 2019, U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions had declined by 15 percent from their peak in 2007, the EIA said today.
U.S. CO2 emissions from petroleum fuels—nearly half of which are associated with gasoline consumption—dropped by 0.8 percent annually, while CO2 emissions from the use of natural gas rose by 3.3 percent. CO2 emissions from coal fell by 14.6 percent – the largest annual percentage drop in any fuel’s CO2 emissions in EIA’s annual CO2 data series dating back to 1973, due to continuous coal fleet retirements.
According to EIA data, the United States now emits less CO2 from coal than from motor gasoline.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.