Frequently Asked Questions

How much of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are associated with electricity generation?

Total U.S. energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the electric power sector in 2012 were 2,039 million metric tons, or about 39% of total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions.

CO2 emissions from U.S. electricity generation by source, 20121

Source Million Metric Tons Share of Total
Coal 1,514 74%
Natural gas 494 24%
Petroleum 19 1%
Other2 12 1%
Total 2,039  

1Preliminary 2012 data.
2Miscellaneous wastes and from geothermal power generation.

Learn more:

Monthly Energy Review, Tables 12.1 and 12.6, contain most recent estimates of U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions, total and by the electric power sector.

Electric Power Annual, Table 3.9, contains historical data on CO2 emissions from all electricity generation (conventional power plants and combined-heat-and-power plants).

What are greenhouse gases and how much are emitted by the United States?

Last updated:  August 23, 2013

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