A new report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) found hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has pushed carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity generation to the lowest levels since 1993.
Fracking created immense amounts of natural gas, lowering the price and causing the amount of electricity generated from natural gas to pass the amount of electricity generated from coal for seven of the months in 2015, according to the new EIA report. The report specifies that natural gas power plants produce about 40 percent of the CO2 emitted from a coal plant creating the same amount of electricity. This caused U.S. CO2 from the electricity sector to fall by 21 percent since their high in 2005.
“[T]he drop in natural gas prices, coupled with highly efficient natural gas-fired combined-cycle technology, made natural gas an attractive choice to serve baseload demand previously met by coal-fired generation,” read the report. “Coal-fired generation has decreased because of both the economics driven by cost per kilowatthour compared to that of natural gas and because of the effects of increased regulation on air emissions.”
America’s total CO2 emissions have fallen 12 percent since 2005 due to increased natural gas production from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, according to a report published earlier this week by The EIA. The report attributes falling CO2 emissions to “decreased use of coal and the increased use of natural gas for electricity generation.”