All the right things came together in 2016 for the U.S. to shrink its carbon footprint in some dramatic and record-breaking ways, according to federal data released this week.
For two years in a row, carbon emissions from electric power plants in the U.S. fell by about 5 percent each year — the first time in more than 40 years of recordkeeping that emissions have fallen so dramatically over two consecutive years, according to U.S. Department of Energy data.
Overall, carbon dioxide emissions from energy use by Americans fell 1.7 percent last year, part of a decade-long slide in the carbon footprint of energy in the U.S.
The main reason is that Americans are using more renewable energy than ever before, and power plants, buildings, and appliances have become more energy efficient, according to the DOE. Utilities are taking advantage of cheap, abundant natural gas brought about by the last decade’s fracking boom to reduce their reliance on coal.
Read more at Electricity’s Carbon Footprint in U.S. Shrinks, Sets Record