The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released annual greenhouse gas emissions data for 2012 collected under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP). The program collects annual greenhouse gas information (CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, NF3, HFCs, PFCs) from facilities in the largest emitting industries, including power plants, oil and gas production and refining, iron and steel mills, and landfills. For 2012, 7,809 facilities in nine industry sectors reported direct emissions to the atmosphere. Total emissions were 3.13 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), about half of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. This represents a 4.5% decrease from the emissions reported in 2011. In 2012 the U.S. GDP increased by 2.8%.
Power plants are represented by 1611 facilities in the database. Together they emitted 2.090 billion tonnes of CO2e in 2012, about 40 percent of total U.S. carbon pollution. The 2012 GHGRP data show that power plant emissions decreased by 6.3% from 2011 to 2012 or about 10% since 2010 when reporting began. The EPA ascribes the emissions drop primarily to the switch from coal to natural gas for electricity generation.