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EPA Reports Rise In US Greenhouse Emissions

April 15, 2009

Emissions of greenhouse gases in the United States rose 1.4 percent in 2007 compared with 2006, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Total emissions of six main greenhouse gases in 2007 were equivalent to 7,150 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the report said.

These gases include methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.

According to the report, U.S. emissions of these gases rose 17.2 percent from 1990 to 2007.

The rise in 2007 was primarily due to an increase in emissions of carbon dioxide as cooler winter temperatures and warmer summer temperatures that year drove additional consumption of fuel and energy.

There was also higher demand for fossil fuels for electricity generation, the report said.   This was coupled with a 14.2 percent decrease in hydropower generation to meet that demand.

Carbon dioxide emissions are derived from both natural and human-made sources — primarily fossil fuel-powered vehicles and coal-fired power plants.   Members of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have said these and other emissions are causing global climate change.

The environmental agency’s report is the latest annual greenhouse gas inventory submitted to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.  The Convention seeks to establish a framework for intergovernmental work on climate change.

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