Carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. energy sector jumped 3.9% in 2010—the biggest increase in over two decades—the Energy Information Administration announced Thursday. The emission rates, which had been in decline for several straight years prior to 2010, rose in part because of the economic rebound following the depressions of 2008 – 2009, Howard Gruenspecht, the acting head of EIA, said.
Because energy-related emissions from commercial, residential, industrial and transportation sectors make up a significant portion of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the recent jump means that overall U.S. emissions likely rose in 2010 as well.
Nevertheless, there is still room for long-term improvement. Despite the 6% jump in 2010, emission rates still remain below 2005 levels.