WASHINGTON (October 21, 2013)—The U.S. cut its energy-related carbon dioxide pollution by 3.8 percent last year, the second biggest drop since 1990, federal officials said Monday.
The only year with a bigger percentage drop was in 2009, when the country was in a large recession.
Cars and factories spewed 5.83 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2012, down from 6.06 billion in 2011, the lowest level for U.S. emissions since 1994.
Carbon dioxide is the chief man-made global warming gas.
Energy Department economist Perry Lindstrom said carbon pollution reduction is the result of warm winter weather, more efficient cars because of new mileage requirements and an ongoing shift from coal-power to natural gas to produce electricity.