From: Steven Mufson, Washington Post
Published May 21, 2009 10:58 AM

U.S. Carbon Emissions Fall by Most Since '82

U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide related to energy use fell 2.8 percent last year, according to an estimate by the Energy Information Administration, driven down by high oil prices and the sagging economy. The drop in carbon dioxide emissions was the steepest since 1982.

The amount of carbon dioxide produced for every dollar of economic output also declined by 3.8 percent, the federal agency said, as industry and motorists became more efficient and frugal and as renewable energy sources gained a slightly larger share of the energy market. That was far greater than the average decline in carbon intensity in previous years.

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Carbon dioxide is the most prevalent of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, and the EIA numbers were made public as Congress weighs complex legislation that would put a nationwide ceiling on emissions of those gases.

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