Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Efficiency Drove U.S. Emissions Decline, Not Natural Gas

A rig operator injects a high-pressure mix of sand, water and chemicals into a natural gas well. Credit: Tim Minelli, flickr
Aggressive energy efficiency efforts by households, companies, and motorists led to the decline in carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in the United States, according to a recent report.  The finding contradicts recent studies that say the power sector's shift away from coal to cheap natural gas caused the bulk of reductions.

U.S. emissions last year fell by 205 million metric tons, or 4 percent, from 2011 levels.  CO2 Scorecard Group, a small environmental research organization, says that nearly half the decline came from energy-saving measures such as retrofits and smarter appliances in homes and offices, as well as from Americans driving fewer miles, and using more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Natural gas is responsible for only about one-quarter of last year's emissions drop, CO2 Scorecard Group asserts.

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