In 2011, American industry produced the equivalent of 3.3 billion tons of CO2 emissions -- 10.5 tons for every resident of these United States. Two-thirds of those emissions were from power plants, by which we of course mean fossil fuel power plants.
That's the topline summary of the EPA's new report on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions -- the second time the agency has completed such a survey. The good news is that the GHG emission number from power plants is going down. From The Hill:
In all, 8,000 facilities across nine industry sectors put 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions into the air in 2011. Power plants accounted for about 2.2 billion of those tons.
EPA said that was a 4.6 percent decrease from power plants compared with 2010, which it attributed to growing reliance on natural gas and renewable energy for electricity generation.
Those emissions could drop even more in the future, as low natural gas prices, expanded renewable electricity generation and an abnormally warm winter last year curbed coal-fired generation. …
EPA released its first report from the program last year, when it considered 2010 emissions from 29 sources. Emissions from those sources fell 3 percent in 2011.
Petroleum and natural gas systems were the second greatest emitters, clocking in at 225 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. Refineries ranked third, at 182 million tons.
What's really cool is the EPA's interactive map, which lets you zoom in to regions and see what polluters are in any given neighborhood. You can also see where certain types of polluters are more common. Here is pollution from refineries, by state: