The US Energy Information Agency reports that carbon emissions from generating electricity in the US during the first six months of 2016 were the lowest since 1991. Mild weather is partly responsible for the decrease but so is the growing amount of renewable energy available to utility customers.
Milder than normal winter weather led to the lowest number of heating degree days — a measure of demand for home heating — since 1949. But changes in how America generates electrical power had an impact as well. Coal and natural gas consumption were lower than in the first six months of 2015. Coal use was down 18% (Take THAT, Robert Murray!). Natural gas was down 1%. Oil use was up 1%.
In addition to noting the 25-year low for carbon emissions in the first six months of the year, the EIA believes the full year total for 2016 will be the lowest since 1992. Before we all start going around fist bumping each other, the EIA stats don’t mean we can stop worrying about climate change.