Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published January 13, 2014 at 1:10 PM | Page modified January 14, 2014 at 3:05 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

US carbon pollution up 2 percent in 2013

Energy-related carbon dioxide pollution grew by 2 percent last year after declining several years in a row, a government report said Monday. The increase was largely due to a small boost in coal consumption by the electric power industry, according to the study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.


Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >

advertising

WASHINGTON —

Energy-related carbon dioxide pollution grew by 2 percent last year after declining several years in a row, a government report said Monday. The increase was largely due to a small boost in coal consumption by the electric power industry, according to the study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

American cars and factories spewed 5.38 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2013, up from 5.27 billion in 2012, the report said. Carbon dioxide is the chief man-made global warming gas.

Coal, long the dominant source for U.S. electricity, has regained some market share in recent months as natural gas prices have increased following historic lows in 2012. Coal generated about 39 percent of the nation's electricity in October, compared with 28 percent for natural gas, the EIA said. Coal supplied about 37 percent of U.S. electricity in 2012, with natural gas at 30 percent.

Even with the uptick, overall U.S. carbon emissions remained 10 percent below 2005 levels, more than half the reduction needed to achieve President Barack Obama's goal of reducing carbon emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

Obama has launched a major second-term drive to combat climate change, bypassing Congress as he imposes first-ever limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants.

Forty percent of U.S. carbon emissions, and one-third of greenhouse gases overall, come from electric power plants, according to the EIA.

Under Obama's plan, the Environmental Protection Agency will propose guidance for states to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from future power plants, as well as those already in existence, to reshape where Americans get electricity. The plan is intended to help move the United States from a coal-dependent past into a future fired by cleaner sources of energy such as wind and solar power, nuclear energy and natural gas.

The EPA says the plan would not raise the price of electricity or cause major disruptions to the U.S. economy, a claim the coal industry and its allies in Congress dispute.

Obama's plan also would boost renewable energy production on federal lands, increase efficiency standards and prepare communities to deal with higher temperatures that many scientists say are being caused by human activity. The 12 hottest years on record all have occurred in the past 15 years.

___

Follow Matthew Daly on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MatthewDalyWDC



News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Want free career advice? And an iPad Mini?

Want free career advice? And an iPad Mini?

Tell us about your goals and challenges and be considered for a future NWjobs career-makeover story, as well as a chance to win an iPad Mini!

Advertising

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►