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Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions in U.S. Manufacturing

November 1, 2006

Based on the Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS) conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (EIA), this paper presents historical energy-related carbon dioxide emission estimates for energy-intensive sub-sectors and 23 industries. Estimates are based on surveys of more than 15,000 manufacturing plants in 1991, 1994, 1998, and 2002. EIA is currently developing its collection of manufacturing data for 2006.


Manufacturing is the single largest source of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. industrial sector, which also includes agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining, and construction. The manufacturing sector accounted for about 84 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions and 90 percent of the energy consumption in the industrial sector in 2002. The table below shows estimates of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from manufacturing in 2002, based on the latest end-use energy consumption statistics from EIA’s Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS), which queries more than 15,000 manufacturing plants every 4 years. Previous surveys were conducted in 1985, 1988, 1991, 1994, and 1998; however, only the data collected after 1988 support industry estimates of emissions under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). In 2007, EIA will again conduct the MECS, collecting energy consumption and expenditure data for 2006.

The tables in this paper present estimates of manufacturing emissions by fuel, based on statistics from the 1991, 1994, 1998 and 2002 surveys.3 And for the first time, based on the latest available data, EIA reports on emissions by selected NAICS industries. Of the 473 6-digit NAICS industries, 23 industries are presented.4 In addition to restrictions on the number of industry estimates, no historical industry-level series is presented because 1) critical non-fuel data are missing, as the 1998 MECS eliminated its industry-level non-fuel estimates and 2) the current historical MECS data series is missing a common industry classification system, as federal statistics, in 1997, replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system with NAICS, a new classification designed by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, North American governments, and other varied and interested party to provide new comparability in statistics about business activity across North America.

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