14 May '12, 3pm

Coal Use in United States Drops to 36% of Electricity Generation Why? Natural gas use is rising.

Coal trains in Wyoming. Photo: KimonBerlin via Flickr /CC BY 2.0 Some really pretty encouraging news coming from the Energy Information Agency (with a h/t to Climate Progress ): The latest EIA figures show that coal use in electricity generation in the US has dropped to a new low, for the first quarter of 2012 just 36% of the energy mix. What's more, that's a drop of roughly 19% from the last quarter of 2011. As for why, natural gas is displacing coal. The EIA stats show natural gas making up 28.7% of the US electrical mix in the first quarter of the year—largely due to falling natural gas prices. The good news in all this is that, for all natural gas's faults when it's obtained via fracking , conventionally extracted natural gas has much lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal (even when massive leaks and flaring is taken into account). It's far from perfect but its bett...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/fossil-fuels/coal-use-united-st...

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