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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

In 2021, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the U.S. electric power sector were 1,551 million metric tons (MMmt), or about 32% of total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions of 4,872 (MMmt).

CO2 emissions by U.S. electric power sector by source, 2021
SourceMillion metric tons Share of total
Coal90859%
Natural gas61540%
Petroleum171%
Other1111%
1 Includes CO2 emissions from the combustion of waste materials made from fossil fuels and by some types of geothermal power plants.
Source: Monthly Energy Review, April 2022; preliminary data

Learn more:
U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions rose 6% in 2021
Monthly Energy Review, Tables 11.1 and 11.6 contain the most recent estimates of monthly and annual U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions, total and by the electric power sector.
U.S. CO2 emissions from energy consumption by source and sector (diagram)
U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions
State-level carbon dioxide emissions data
Energy Explained: Where Greenhouse Gases Come From

Last updated: May 17, 2022, with most recent data available at the time of update.


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