An online tool launched recently by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will give the public unprecedented access to comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) data reported directly from large facilities and suppliers across the country.
The 2010 GHG data released last week includes public information from facilities in nine industry groups that directly emit large quantities of GHGs, as well as suppliers of certain fossil fuels, and points a definite finger at the biggest emitters in the country: power plants.
GHG data for direct emitters show that in 2010:
- Power plants were the largest stationary sources of direct emissions with 2,324 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (mmtCO2e), followed by petroleum refineries with emissions of 183 mmtCO2e.
- CO2 accounted for the largest share of direct GHG emissions with 95 percent, followed by methane with 4 percent, and nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases accounting for the remaining 1 percent.
- 100 facilities each reported emissions over 7 mmtCO2e, including 96 power plants, two iron and steel mills and two refineries.
“Thanks to strong collaboration and feedback from industry, states and other organizations, today we have a transparent, powerful data resource available to the public,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “The GHG Reporting Program data provides a critical tool for businesses and other innovators to find cost- and fuel-saving efficiencies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and foster technologies to protect public health and the environment.”
EPA’s online data publication tool allows users to view and sort GHG data for calendar year 2010 from over 6,700 facilities in a variety of ways—including by facility, location, industrial sector, and the type of GHG emitted. This information can be used by communities to identify nearby sources of GHGs, help businesses compare and track emissions, and provide information to state and local governments.