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

June 06, 2007

EIA: U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Energy Use Declined in 2006

The energy-related production of carbon dioxide in United States decreased by 1.3 percent in 2006, according to an initial estimate by DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). Carbon dioxide is the dominant greenhouse gas emitted in the United States, and since most of it is produced through energy use, the trend in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions generally reflects the nation's trend in overall greenhouse gas emissions. The EIA credits the decline to mild weather conditions, a drop in demand caused by high energy prices, and the use of less carbon-intensive energy sources in the production of electricity. Overall, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions decreased from 5,955 million metric tons in 2005 to 5,877 million metric tons in 2006. However, over the long term, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 17.9 percent in the United States since 1990.

Of particular interest is a 1.2 percent decline in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from industry, despite an estimated 3.9 percent increase in industrial output. This suggests an industrial shift toward energy efficiency or low-carbon energy sources. In fact, industrial emissions of carbon dioxide in 2006 were nearly equal to the level of emissions in 1990. The EIA will release a full inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and a more detailed analysis of the trends in November. See the EIA press release.