This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 06, 2006

Slumping Energy Use Holds U.S. Carbon Emissions Steady in 2005

Energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide in the United States increased only 0.1 percent in 2005, according to DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are strongly dominated by the carbon dioxide emissions from energy use. As a result, trends in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are a good indicator of overall greenhouse gas emissions trends for the United States.

According to EIA's preliminary estimates, released on June 28th, U.S. energy demand dropped by 0.5 percent in 2005, with growth in residential and commercial energy use offset by a 3.3 percent drop in industrial energy use. Meanwhile, the use of energy for transportation stayed nearly constant, with a decrease in gasoline use balanced by increases in the consumption of diesel fuel and jet fuel. Despite the overall drop in energy use, utilities produced more of their electricity from coal, causing energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to increase slightly. And although energy demand fell, the U.S. economy grew by 3.5 percent in 2005, which indicates that the country is using energy with greater efficiency. See the EIA press release.