Carbon Output to Fall 5.9% on Economy, Fuel Switching


Carbon Output to Fall 5.9% on Economy, Fuel Switching

The recession and a cleaner fuel mix in the electricity sector should push U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions from coal, oil and natural gas 5.9 percent lower this year, the Energy Information Administration said today.

"Changes in energy consumption in the industrial sector, a result of the weak economy, and changes in electricity generation sources are the primary factors for the decline," the EIA said in its October Short-Term Enerhu Outlook.

In the electricity sector, the substitution of natural gas for coal and an expected increase in generation from emission- free sources such as wind farms should cut carbon-dioxide output, the EIA said. Lower demand for jet fuel, diesel and home heating oil due to the recession should also reduce carbon- dioxide emissions to 5.45 billion metric tons this year.

The drop in emissions comes as Congress debates "cap-and- trade" proposals that would cut so-called greenhouse-gas emissions by as much as 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. Based on EIA’s projection, energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions this year may already be 8.8 percent below their 2005 level of 5.97 billion tons.

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