With less energy coming from coal last year and more coming from cheap natural gas, energy-related carbon emissions in the U.S. dropped to their lowest level since 1994, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Other factors contributed, including mild winters and less demand for transportation fuel (are we driving less?).
The switch from coal to natural gas has been underway for years now, and the EIA predicted last August that 2012 would see a drop in carbon emissions as a result.
The agency has also predicted further declines this year.
But it’s bittersweet news for some in the Northwest because less coal burning here is driving the push for U.S. coal exports to Asia.