EPA: 2010 U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increased 3.2 Percent

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According to Reuters, the Environmental Protection Agency announced today that greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. increased 3.2 percent in 2010 over the previous year, most likely due to economic growth in the country and electricity demands during the stifling summer.

Here are some facts about greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and steps being taken to reduce its emission levels.

* Fossil fuel combustion contributes to a major portion of greenhouse gas emissions and in 2010 it contributed about 5.4 billion tons out of the 6.8 billion tons of total greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA's "Trends in Greenhouse Gas Emissions" report.

* Methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, fluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and carbon dioxide are considered greenhouse gases, but carbon dioxide makes up nearly 84 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

* The Energy Information Administration noted that from 1990 to 2009, greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. grew by about 0.4 percent per year and the U.S. accounts for about 20 percent of the world's total energy related carbon dioxide emissions.

* The Houston Chronicle reported Texas emits more greenhouse gases, approximately 294 million tons in 2010, than any other state in the country and Texas' emissions are more than Pennsylvania and Florida, the second and third place emitters, combined.

* Texas' ranking is associated with its large number of coal-fired power plants and oil refineries that provide services and oil to the rest of the country.

* Two years ago, President Barack Obama pledged the federal government would reduce its emissions by 28 percent by the year 2020, noted the Huffington Post.

* The president's commitment came after his administration delivered a nonbinding vow to other countries that the U.S. would in fact reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, which came as part of the United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change.

* Another article from Reuters added that the White House's 2013 budget proposal includes $27.2 billion for the Department of Energy, including $2.3 billion for researching and developing energy efficient technologies, advanced vehicles and biofuels.

* The proposed DOE budget increase details a 30 percent increase in funding for clean energy research when compared to the previous fiscal year.

Rachel Bogart provides an in-depth look at current environmental issues and local Chicago news stories. As a college student from the Chicago suburbs pursuing two science degrees, she applies her knowledge and passion to both topics to garner further public awareness.

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