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EPA reports drop in greenhouse gas emissions

From the April 22, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published April 22, 2013

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director

Overall greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 1.6 percent in 2011 from the previous year, the Environmental Protection Agency said in its 18th annual report on greenhouse gas emissions. The decline can be attributed to multiple factors, including reduced emissions from electricity generation, improvements in fuel efficiency in vehicles with reductions in miles traveled, and year-to-year changes in the prevailing weather, the agency said. Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fired electricity generation were down 4.5 percent in 2011 from 2010.

Overall emissions in 2011 showed a 6.9 percent drop below 2005 levels, EPA said. Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fired electricity generation dropped by 10.1 percent in 2011 from 2005 levels.Total emissions of the six main greenhouse gases in 2011 were equivalent to 6,702 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.

The Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2011 tracks annual greenhouse gas emissions at the national level and presents historical emissions from 1990 to 2011. The inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere through the uptake of carbon by forests, vegetation, soils and other natural processes (called carbon "sinks").


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