US energy-related carbon dioxide emissions reached 5.3 billion tonnes in 2012—the nation’s lowest level since 1994, the US Energy Information Administration reported. Emissions have declined consecutively since 2007, with the exception of 2010.
The drop in CO2 emissions in 2012 was primarily attributable to the shift of electric power generation to natural gas from coal. During 2012, particularly in the spring and early summer, low natural gas prices led to competition between gas-fired and coal-fired electric power generators.
Decreased demand for transportation fuels and mild winter temperatures that reduced demand for heating also contributed to the lower CO2 emissions.
EIA will publish a full analysis of 2012 energy-related CO2 emissions later this year. The January-December 2012 preliminary was already published in the March edition of the Monthly Energy Review, which includes statistics covering all aspects of energy.
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