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EIA: US CO2 Emissions From Electricity Generation Down to 1980’s Levels… Frac On!

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Guest “Frac on!” by David Middleton

NOVEMBER 10, 2020
U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions fell in 2019, mainly in electric generation

After rising by 3% in 2018, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell 3% in the United States in 2019. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2019 analysis, total energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 were about 150 million metric tons (MMmt) lower than their 2018 level. EIA attributes nearly all (96%) of this decline to the changing mix of fuels used to generate electricity.

[…]

EIA

CO2 emissions from electric power generation are now down to where they were in the mid-1980’s.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review

Here’s the really funny part: The drop in emissions is mostly (61%) due to frac’ing.

Since 1990, the share of electricity generated by natural gas-fired power plants has grown from 12% to 38%. While the share generated by non-carbon fuels (nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, solar, etc.) has only grown from 31% to 38%. Unfortunately, almost all of that growth has come at the expense of our most reliable fuel, coal.

The growth in natural gas-fired generation was made possible by the abundant supply of cheap natural gas provided by the oil & gas industry through the use of hydraulic fracturing (frac’ing) of shale and other tight formations.

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