U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are falling. Why? New data by a governmental branch is saying that the switch from coal to unconventional forms of natural gas is the main reason, followed by an unusually warm 2012 winter.
By Ken Silverstein
Coal-fired power, in fact, used to provide about half of the electric generation market, and it is now 34 percent. At the same time, natural gas from shale is rising, providing almost as much fuel for utilities as coal — but certainly trending higher. The result is fewer carbon dioxide emissions, notably less than in previous years, says the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
“Amid historically low natural gas prices and the warmest March ever recorded in much of the United States, coal’s share of total net generation dropped to 34 percent — the lowest level since at least January 1973,” says the agency. “Despite seasonally low loads, natural gas-fired generation grew markedly and accounted for 30 percent of overall net generation by March 2012. Total electricity demand fell this winter as warmer weather reduced home heating requirements.” READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE.