US carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from energy use during the first quarter of 2012 were the lowest in two decades for any January-March period, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) figures. The country’s CO2 emissions from energy consumption totaled 1,340 million metric tons during the first quarter of 2012, down nearly eight percent from a year ago, according to the EIA June Monthly Energy Report.
EIA said CO2 emissions during January-March 2012 were low due to a combination of three factors:
- A mild winter that reduced household heating demand and therefore energy use
- A decline in coal-fired electricity generation, due largely to historically low natural gas prices
- Reduced gasoline demand
It is likely that the trend toward lower CO2 emissions may be reversed by the hot dry summer in the Great Plains. Although we are still analyzing metering data, Heartland may have hit a new system peak on August 1st.