U.S. Carbon Emissions See Largest Yearly Jump in 8 Years

The transportation sector remains the largest source of U.S. emissions for the third year running.

Pollution from the transportation sector was the biggest contributor to U.S. emissions in 2018. (Getty Images)
Getty Images

U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions saw a yearly increase of 3.4% in 2018 — the largest gain over just one year over the past eight.

The 2018 emissions gain is the second biggest jump in the past 20 years, according to preliminary estimates released Tuesday by the independent research provider, the Rhodium Group, CNBC reported.

The figures are based on “preliminary power generation, natural gas, and oil consumption data,” according to the group. The transportation sector proved to be the biggest contributor to our national emissions problem for the third year in a row due to a “robust growth in demand” for both diesel and jet fuel offsetting a “modest” drop in gasoline consumption.

Although a record number of coal-fired power plants were closed in 2018, emissions from the power sector still grew by almost 2%, the group said.

Another industry to show “big year-on-year emissions gains” was the buildings and industrial sector, in part because of “unusually cold” weather at the beginning of 2018.

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