Electricity is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, but it’s not without its problems.
With new technologies like rooftop solar and wind farms, the nation’s electrical grid could be on track to meet its goal of limiting CO2 emissions by 80 percent by 2030.
But a new report by the US government is showing that the country still has some work to do.
The report, titled “Coal, Gas, and Oil: How Coal, Gas and Oil Are Driving Global Carbon Emissions” and released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration, looks at the energy sector’s impact on greenhouse gas emission in 2030.
While coal-fired power plants were a key contributor to the nation in 2030, they’re still responsible for more than half of US emissions.
That’s up from 44 percent in 2020.
While they’ve already surpassed coal’s share of the nation, the report shows that oil- and gas-fired plants are now responsible for a larger share of US greenhouse gas pollution.
Oil is the most important source of CO2, accounting for nearly a third of the total.
But the US has a number of other sources of carbon emissions that are also important to the national economy.
Gas has the third-largest share of carbon dioxide, followed by coal and natural gas.
“We have a big oil problem,” said Chris Mooney, director of energy policy and strategy at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit environmental group.
“There’s a big problem with the oil industry, and we’re not getting any better at managing that.”
The report estimates that the U.S. is projected to produce more than 40 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 2030; that’s up significantly from 28.5 billion barrels in 2020 and 11.5 in 2019.
The biggest increase is likely to come from fracking, the process of drilling and injecting massive amounts of water, sand and chemicals into the ground to break up rock and release gas, which is a significant contributor to climate change.
In addition, the energy industry is adding a growing number of new plants that are making use of a cleaner and cheaper form of energy that is also a source of carbon.
The transition to cleaner energy has already begun in many ways.
In California, for instance, California has made significant investments in green energy, including a pilot program in 2015 that began using solar power to power homes.
And a recent federal study found that the federal government is now taking steps to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040.
Still, there’s plenty of room for improvement.
The EIA says that the US is already behind in other key measures of climate change, like reducing carbon emissions by shifting from coal to natural gas, and has also failed to meet the 2020 targets to cut emissions.
The government also isn’t keeping up with the transition to clean energy.
In the United Kingdom, the government is trying to move away from coal, but the EIA found that it’s already more than 30 percent behind the US in many of the measures it uses to measure climate change and energy efficiency.
“I think we are not well prepared for the change that we need to make,” said Mooney.
“What we’ve seen so far is that the transition from coal-burning to natural-gas-fired generation is really a slow process.”