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Frequently Asked Questions

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

In 2017, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the U.S. electric power sector were 1,744 million metric tons, or about 34% of the total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions of 5,140 million metric tons.1

CO2 emissions by U.S. electric power sector by source, 2017

SourceMillion metric tonsShare of sector total
Coal1,20769%
Natural gas 50629%
Petroleum  19  1%
Other2  12
<1%
Total1,744
 

1 Preliminary data for 2017.
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: June 8, 2018


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