The U.S. EPA has released its third year of greenhouse gas (GHS) data detailing carbon emissions and trends from large facilities broken down by industrial sector, GHS, geographic region, and individual facility. The data, required to be collected annually by Congress, highlight a decrease in these emissions as more utilities switch to cleaner burning natural gas.
EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program collects annual information from over 8,000 facilities in the largest emitting industries, including power plants, oil and gas production and refining, iron and steel mills, and landfills. In addition, the program is receiving data on the increasing production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), predominantly used in refrigeration and air-conditioning. This Program is the only one that collects facility-level GHG data from major industrial sources across the U.S.
The 2012 data show that in the two years since reporting began, emissions from power plants have decreased 10%. This is due to a switch from coal to natural gas for electricity generation and a slight decrease in electricity production. Fossil-fuel fired power plants remain the largest source of U.S. GHG emissions. With just under 1,600 facilities emitting over 2 billion metric tons of CO2 in 2012, these plants account for roughly 40% of total U.S. carbon emissions.
The data are accessible through EPA’s online data publication tool, FLIGHT, which is available for both desktop and mobile devices. This year, with three years of data for most sources, FLIGHT now has been updated with new features, including the ability to view trend graphs by sector and facility as well as download charts and graphs for use in presentations and reports. The data are also published through EnviroFacts, which allows the public to download data for further analyses.
Access link to EPA’s GHG Reporting Program Data and Data Publication Tool is: http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/
Access to EnviroFacts: