Washington, D.C. – Fossil fuel-related CO2 emissions will drop by five per cent in 2009 in the U.S., mainly due to the economy, according to a new forecast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Energy-related CO2 emissions account for about 98 per cent of U.S. CO2 emissions, with the vast majority coming from fossil fuel combustion, including coal, natural gas and petroleum. Small amounts come from the non-fuel use of energy inputs, emissions from electricity generation, and emissions from industrial processes.

The economic downturn, combined with a significant switch from coal to natural gas as a source of energy generation, is projected to lead the five per cent decline. An improving economy is expected to increase CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by 0.7 per cent in 2010.

Petroleum CO2 emissions are expected to decline by four per cent in 2009, primarily due to declines in transportation sector consumption. Although little change is expected from emissions from motor gasoline in 2009, CO2 emissions from other transportation fuels are expected to fall significantly, including a projected 9.8 per cent decline in jet fuel, 8.2 per cent in distillate fuel oil, and 6.3 per cent in residual fuel oil.

However, CO2 emissions from petroleum are projected to increase by 0.6 per cent in 2010, although this is lower than the 1.5 per cent increase in total petroleum consumption, primarily because of continued growth in the biofuel share of the transportation fuel markets.

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