US utilities have pushed down their CO2 emissions largely on their own

Four big US utilities have each reported in recent days substantial carbon dioxide emission reductions over the past few years due principally to an increase in the use of natural gas, renewable generation and to the sale or closure of coal-fired assets. The four utilities — Duke Energy, Southern Company, American Electric Power and Xcel Energy — have reported CO2 reductions of between 28% and 37% over an 11-year period starting in 2005. Each of the four have made changes to their generating portfolios to take advantage of lower-price renewables that attract federal and state-level subsidies but which also, the utilities say, increasingly appeal to their customers. On June 1, President Donald Trump announced he was pulling the country out of the non-binding Paris climate agreement. As one of the utilities noted, however, their CO2 emissions decline was accomplished outside of any federally mandated program and prior to the official launch of the Paris agreement in November 2016. The utilities’ reports of reduced CO2 emissions are not new, though the accumulated size of the reductions, have become more pronounced in the past two years as coal-fired assets have, in some cases, been retired or sold and investments in natural gas-fired,

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Source: CTRM Center

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