Fracking has reduced emissions to lowest level in 13 years

Fuel Fix:
Carbon emissions from U.S. electricity generation are at the lowest level in 16 years, the Energy Department said Friday, as generators switch from coal to cleaner natural gas and renewable power sources.

The U.S. Department of Energy Department said carbon emissions from electricity generation in 2015 totaled 1,925 million metric tons, the lowest since 1993 and 21 percent below 2005 levels.

Electricity demand has largely remained flat nationwide in recent years. The population is still increasing, but improved energy efficiencies have slowed the pace of consumption growth.

In 10 years, the national grid has dipped from a 51 percent reliance on coal down to just 34 percent. During the same time, natural gas’ market share jumped from 18 percent to 32 percent. Likewise, renewable power increased from 8 percent to 13 percent. Nuclear power remained steady at 20 percent, according to the Energy Department.

In Texas, gas power already has well surpassed coal, while the state also leads the nation by far in wind power.

Houston-based Dynegy, for instance, announced earlier this month it planned to shutter three coal units in Illinois. Dynegy already planned to close its Wood River power plant in Illinois.

The Energy Department noted that the drop in natural gas prices has coupled with the technological development of more efficient gas-fired, combined-cycle turbines to make natural gas an attractive choice over coal. Coal power is declining both because of economics and increasing regulations on air emissions.
The same people who complain about emissions are the ones trying to stop fracking.  Their preferred alternative energy solutions can not be properly modulated to meet demand.


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