U.S. Greenhouse Gases Drop to 15-Year Low
The drop in emissions was due primarily to less demand, but changes in coal and natural-gas prices were also an important cause, the report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.
Energy demand across all sectors dropped in 2009, the report said. It said the price of natural gas fell while the price of coal increased, leading the U.S. to burn less coal, which emits more greenhouse gases than other energy source.
In total, in 2009 emissions of the greenhouse gases, which are linked to climate change, were the equivalent of 6,640 metric tons of carbon dioxide, down from 7,062 metric tons in 2008 and a high of 7,265 metric tons in 2007. U.S. emissions in 2009 were more than 7% greater than 1990 levels, the report said.
Fossil fuels burned to generate electricity remained the largest contributor to U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions, followed by fuels burned for transportation and non-electrical fuel consumption by factories, homes, and businesses.