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EPA Seeks Public Comment on U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Release Date: 02/28/2006
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, 202-564-4355 (media only) /; Leif Hockstad, 202-343-9432 or Lisa Hanle, 202-343-9434 (all other inquiries)

(Washington, D.C.-Feb. 28, 2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on a draft report that analyzes the sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The report, "Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2004," will be open for comment for 30 days.

EPA prepared the annual report in collaboration with experts from multiple federal agencies. The major finding in the draft report is that overall emissions during 2004 increased by 1.7 percent from the previous year. This increase was due primarily to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption. Total emissions of the six main greenhouse gases in 2004 were equivalent to 7,075 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. Fossil fuel combustion was the largest source of emissions, accounting for 80 percent of the total. Overall, emissions have grown by 15.8 percent from 1990 to 2004, while the U.S. economy has grown by 51 percent over the same period.

A Federal Register notice announcing a 30-day public comment period on the report was published on Feb. 27, 2006. After responding to public comments, the United States will submit the final inventory report to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, fulfilling its annual requirement as a party to the international treaty on climate change. The treaty, ratified by the United States in 1992, sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.

The report: