Industrial emissions

Industrial greenhouse gas emissions account for 22% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it the third largest contributor of such emissions. Carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide result from the burning of coal in factories and our 241 power plants. In 2019, about 4,118 billion kilowatthours of electricity were generated at utility-scale power plants in the U.S. Coal is the most emissions-intensive fossil fuel. About 63% of this electricity generation was from fossil fuels including coal, natural gas, petroleum and other gases. About 20% was from nuclear energy and about 18% was from renewable energy sources. Advocates say some power plants have deployed carbon capture technology such as scrubbers to remove harmful particulates and gases from smokestacks. Many other plants have switched to cleaner-burning natural gas. However, coal used to manufacture steel and cement is still a major source of emissions, accounting for more than 20% of all the world’s coal usage. In 2018, these two industries, along with our chemical industry, were the largest contributor to the growth in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

In a recent executive order aimed at combating climate change, President Biden has ordered power plants to achieve carbon-free electricity generation by 2035. Since then the Supreme Court has undermined Biden’s order by limiting the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal- and gas-fired power plants under the landmark Clean Air Act anti-pollution law. Biden's administration is currently working on new regulations.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of H.R.2263 - Manufacturing for Our Future Act of 2021
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Paul Tonko (NY)

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May 22, 2023
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May 28, 2023

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