U.S. EPA Releases Greenhouse Gas Data

Jan 16th, 2012 | By | Category: Climate Change

From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

In January 2012, for the first time, the EPA released greenhouse gas (GHG) data collected under the GHG Reporting Program. The data set shows 2010 U.S. GHG emissions from large industrial facilities and from suppliers of certain fossil fuels and industrial gases. Reporting entities used uniform methods for estimating emissions, which enables data to be compared and analyzed. The data confirm that among large, direct GHG emitters, the sector with the largest emissions is power plants, followed by petroleum refineries. EPA will update the website regularly to provide the most up-to-date information available.


Access GHG Emissions Data

EPA developed an easy-to-use online data publication tool that allows users to view GHG data in a variety of ways, including by location, facility, industrial sector, or state, and more features will be added in the coming months.

The GHG data set for 2010 includes

  • GHG reports from over 6,700 entities.
  • Information on GHGs including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and several types of fluorinated industrial gases.
  • GHG data from facilities from specific industries that directly emit 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) or more per year, roughly equivalent to the emissions from burning 131 railcars of coal.

Click here to download a list of 2010 reporters.


What the Data Tell Us  

The GHG Reporting Program collects information from facilities that directly emit GHGs and from suppliers of products that release GHGs if combusted, oxidized, or used. The data publication tool has two distinct sections so the user can view these data sets separately. The default view allows the user to explore data from direct emitters such as power plants, refineries, and other large direct emissions sources. 


GHG Emissions by Industry Type

The data for direct GHG emitters from stationary sources show that in 2010:

  • Power plants were the largest stationary source of direct U.S. GHG emissions with 2,324 million metric tons of CO2e, followed by refineries with 183 million metric tons of CO2e.
  • CO2 emissions accounted for the largest share of direct emissions with 95 percent, followed by methane with 4 percent, and nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases representing the remaining 1 percent.
  • 100 facilities each reported emissions over 7 million metric tons of CO2e, including 96 power plants, 2 iron and steel mills and 2 refineries.


GHG Emissions by Sector

Reported GHG emissions for 2010 by sector are shown on the following table.




Power plants









Other industrial












Pulp & paper



Government & commercial



MMT = million metric tons of CO2e


New Source Categories

Twelve additional source categories will report their 2011 data for the first time beginning in 2012

  • Electronics manufacturing
  • Fluorinated gas production
  • Magnesium production
  • Petroleum and natural gas systems
  • Use of electric transmission and distribution equipment
  • Underground coal mines
  • Industrial wastewater treatment
  • Geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide
  • Manufacture of electric transmission and distribution
  • Industrial waste landfills
  • Underground injection of carbon dioxide
  • Imports and exports of equipment pre-charged with fluorinated greenhouse gases or containing fluorinated greenhouse gases in closed-cell foams


Additional Information

Click here to access additional EPA files that allow users to download non-confidential data submitted to EPA. These files contain additional data elements not featured in the data publication tool, including items such as monitoring methods used and missing data methods.


Notes on the Data

The data released in January 2012 reflect any resubmitted reports from facilities as of December 16, 2011. Information received after that date will be included in EPA’s next update. EPA does not release confidential business information.

Photograph: Haunting Sky 1 by Benjamin Earwicker, Boise, Idaho, U.S.A.


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