U.S. Energy Information Administration logo

Frequently Asked Questions

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

In 2018, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the U.S. electric power sector were 1,763 million metric tons (MMmt), or about 33% of total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions of 5,268 (MMmt).1

CO2 emissions by U.S. electric power sector by source, 2018

SourceMillion metric tonsShare of sector total
Coal 1,15065%
Natural gas   58133%
Petroleum    21
Other2    11

1 Preliminary data.
2 Includes CO2 emissions from the combustion of miscellaneous waste materials made from fossil fuels and by some types of geothermal power generation.

Learn more:
Monthly Energy Review, Tables 12.1 and 12.6 contain the most recent estimates of monthly and annual U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions, total and by the electric power sector.
Energy Explained: Energy and the Environment–Greenhouse gases
Energy Explained: Where Greenhouse Gases Come From

Last updated: May 15, 2019

Other FAQs about Coal