EIA: Downturn causing decline in CO2 emissions

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration released updated energy projections for 2009 that imply a 5.9 percent reduction in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels from the 2008 level.

“Several factors contribute to a projected reduction of nearly 6 percent in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use in 2009, primarily associated with the economic downturn,” says EIA Administrator Richard Newell. Seventy percent of the expected decline – an estimated 242 million metric tons – is from reduced coal and natural gas use in industry and buildings, substitution of natural gas for coal in electric power, and an increase in carbon-free electricity, Newell says; the remaining 30 percent of the emissions decline – totaling 102 million metric tons – is due to reduced consumption of jet fuel and distillate fuel oil, including diesel fuel and heating oil.

EIA reported its latest energy and CO2 emissions projections for 2009 and 2010 in its Short-Term Energy Outlook.