WASHINGTON – Greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants and other industrial facilities declined by 4.5 percent from 2011 to 2012 as utilities continued to switch from coal to natural gas to generate electricity and produced slightly less power overall, the Environmental Protection Agency reported Wednesday.
Greenhouse gas emissions from these sources have declined by 10 percent in the two years since the EPA began compiling the data.
Power plants release far more greenhouse gas than any other type of facility reviewed by the EPA, including refineries, chemical plants and oil and gas exploration equipment.
In September, the EPA issued rules to strictly limit the amount of carbon that future coal- and gas-fired power plants can release. It is scheduled to issue a similar ceiling for existing plants in June.