Agency Seeks Comment on GHG Inventory

EPA is seeking public comment on a draft annual report that analyzes sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The report, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2006, will be open for public comment for 30 days after the Federal Register notice is published. The notice was published on March 7.

The major finding in this year's draft report is that overall emissions during 2006 decreased by 1.5 percent from the previous year. This decrease was due primarily to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption. Total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2006 were about 7.202 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. Overall, emissions have grown by 14.1 percent from 1990 to 2006 while the U.S. economy has grown by 59 percent over the same period.

The inventory tracks annual greenhouse gas emissions at the national level and presents historical emissions from 1990 to 2006. The inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by "sinks," for example, through the uptake of carbon by forests, vegetation, and soils.

After responding to the comments, the U.S. government 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 this 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.

For information on the draft report and how to submit public comments, see http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/usinventoryreport.html.

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