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U.S. CO2 Emissions From Fuels to Fall 5% in 2009

co2-growth2As a direct result of the recession, U.S. emissions from fuels, including coal plants, are predicted to fall 5 percent in 2009, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The progress on emissions will be short-lived, however. As the economy improves, emissions are predicted to climb 0.7 percent in 2010.

In 2008, use of all forms of fuels except natural gas dropped. This year, they all are predicted to fall, while next year all forms are predicted to rise modestly.

Petroleum CO2 emissions are predicted to be down 4 percent in 2009, on the backs of declines in jet fuel (a 9.8- percent decline in consumption), distillate fuel oil (an 8.2-percent decline), and residual fuel oil (a 6.3- percent decline). General motor vehicle emissions are not predicted to fall noticeably.

Coal-based CO2 emissions are predicted to decline 7.9 percent in 2009, because of declines in industrial use and fuel switching in the electric power sector. Increases in coal consumption for electric power generation are expected to cause a 1.1-percent increase in coal CO2 emissions in 2010.

CO2 emissions from natural gas are projected to decline 2.3 percent in 2009 despite “significant” consumption increases by utilities. Natural gas consumption should decline this year for all other major sectors. CO2 emissions from natural gas are expected to grow slightly in 2010, with natural gas consumption growing 0.5 percent.

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