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Emissions from US industrial facilities fell nearly 5% in 2019

Emissions from US industrial facilities fell nearly 5% in 2019
Monday 9 November , 2020
By Bloomberg Quint -

Greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants, manufacturing sites and other large facilities declined nearly 5% from 2018 to 2019, according to data released Monday. The drop is consistent with a decade-long downward trend in greenhouse gas releases from large stationary sources, partly propelled by the power sector’s ongoing shift away from coal to renewable sources and cleaner-burning natural gas.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler cast the reduction as a vindication of President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Paris climate agreement, which took effect last Wednesday. President-elect Joe Biden has promised to initiate a U.S. return to the global carbon-cutting pact his first day in office.

“We have done more to reduce our GHG emissions over the past four years than our international competitors who cling to the ceremonial agreement,” Wheeler said.

The new data reflect emissions from nearly 8,000 large, stationary facilities — including cement plants, steel mills, oil refineries and landfills. The numbers do not cover small stationary sources that emit fewer than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. Nor do they cover the transportation sector, now the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Large facilities in the reporting program emitted 2.85 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in 2019, down from 2.99 billion metric tons in 2018.

Overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have been on a downward trend since 2005, a commonly used baseline. However, they increased 2.9% in 2018 over 2017 levels, after three years of annual declines, according to a separate EPA inventory, the last year for which data is available.

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