The coal hard truth

Beacon article on by Zoya Teirstein

Did the EPA borrow its latest PR strategy ...The electric power sector’s obsession with coal is waning — natural gas, a fuel that emits less CO2 but releases boatloads of methane *, is the next big thing. (

That means the industry isn’t producing as many carbon emissions. I know, I know, this isn’t really gonna cut it as we hurtle toward a significantly hotter planet.

But check this out.

The decline in CO2 emissions from the power sector in 2017 — 4.6 percent — was enough to offset greenhouse gases produced by all other business sectors.

That’s according to a recent report from the Department of Energy.(

We can thank natural gas and renewables like wind and solar for the dip in CO2, but less demand for electricity (yes, demand is dropping!- is also a factor.

So really this was a team effort.

Good work, everyone.

Electricity sales are the lowest they’ve been in around a decade, in part because weather overall is getting milder, the report says. Warmer winters mean less heat.

The report also notes that cooler summers mean Americans are using less electricity … to which I say: what?? We just had the fourth warmest summer on record and the hottest summer since 2012.

Despite the Department of Energy’s apparent heat-induced amnesia, this report is, overall, buoying. CO2 emissions in the U.S.A. are now 14 percent lower than they were in 2005.




*ED NOTE: Seems to be some confusion here. Natural gas is nearly 100% methane and it is only a problem when it leaks.