CO2 Emissions In The United States Estimated To Have Increased 3.4% In 2018 After Years Of Declining
CO2 emissions in the United States peaked at just over 6.1 billion tons in 2005, and total greenhouse gas emissions decreased 3.5% from 1990 to 2015. However, early estimates for 2018 show CO2 emissions rising approximately 3.4%:
While a record number of coal-fired power plants were retired last year, natural gas not only beat out renewables to replace most of this lost generation but also fed most of the growth in electricity demand. As a result, power sector emissions overall rose by 1.9%. The transportation sector held its title as the largest source of US emissions for the third year running, as robust growth in demand for diesel and jet fuel offset a modest decline in gasoline consumption.
The decrease in carbon density of the energy supply (moving from coal to cleaner fuels such as natural gas) was not as significant as the increase in energy demand in 2018. Looser federal regulations on emissions and pollution is also a possible contributor.
Unfortunately EPA data on emissions has not been updated since 2016.