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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue to Decline as the American Economy Flourishes Under the Trump Administration

11/09/2020
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (November 9, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released 2019 greenhouse gas (GHG) data collected under the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP). These data show that between 2018 and 2019 total reported GHG emissions from large facilities fell nearly 5%. These most recent data are consistent with the decade long trend in which total reported GHG emissions from large facilities decreased by more than 14% from 2011 to 2019. Notably, this downward trend in reported in GHG emissions has occurred even as the program began tracking more sources during this timeframe. With respect to power plant emissions specifically, GHG emissions from this sector decreased by 25% between 2011 and 2019.  

“President Trump was right to leave the Paris Climate Accords. We have done more to reduce our GHG emissions over the past four years than our international competitors who cling to the ceremonial and arbitrary agreement,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler

This is the tenth year of data collection for most sectors under the GHGRP. As directed by Congress, EPA collects annual, facility-level emissions data from major industrial sources, including power plants, oil and gas production and refining, iron and steel mills, and landfills. GHGRP also collects activity data from upstream fossil fuel and industrial gas suppliers. More than 8,000 direct emitters and suppliers report GHG data to GHGRP.

While the data collected is useful from an informational perspective, it also serves to assist industry in evaluating opportunities for further GHG emission reductions. The information can be used as well to identify nearby sources of greenhouse gas emissions, compare facilities and industries, track emissions from one year to the next, inform policy at the state and local level, and provide important information to the finance and investment communities.

Each year, EPA publishes the greenhouse gas data it collects in its online Facility Level Information on Greenhouse Gases Tool (FLIGHT). FLIGHT allows users to view reported data by region, industry, or specific greenhouse gas. Users can also download data-generated lists and view facility emissions in interactive maps, tables and charts. EPA will be holding an informational webinar to demonstrate this greenhouse gas data publication tool, including new features and a tutorial on common searches.

For a complete accounting of total U.S. GHG emissions, we refer you to a separate EPA report, the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks.  

For more information, and to register for the webinar see: www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/

To view the new data directly in FLIGHT, see: https://ghgdata.epa.gov/ghgp/main.do

Background
The GHGRP (codified at 40 CFR Part 98) requires reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) data and other relevant information from large GHG emission sources, fuel and industrial gas suppliers, and CO2 injection sites in the United States. A total of 41 categories of reporters are covered by the GHGRP. Facilities determine whether they are required to report based on the types of industrial operations located at the facility, their emission levels, or other factors. Facilities are generally required to submit annual reports under Part 98 if:

  • GHG emissions from covered sources exceed 25,000 metric tons CO2e per year.
  • Supply of certain products would result in over 25,000 metric tons CO2e of GHG emissions if those products were released, combusted, or oxidized.
  • The facility receives 25,000 metric tons or more of CO2 for underground injection.

Approximately 8,000 facilities are required to report annually. Total reported emissions from direct emitters are about 3 billion metric tons CO2e, which is about 50 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions. Additional GHGs are accounted for using information provided by approximately 1,000 suppliers. In total, data covering 85-90 percent of U.S. GHG emissions are reported. A complete accounting of total U.S. GHG emissions is available through a separate EPA report, the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks. 

Annual reports covering emissions from the prior calendar year are due by March 31st of each year. Once data is submitted, EPA conducts a multi-step verification process to ensure reported data are accurate, complete, and consistent.