Air Quality / Coal / Energy

As Ohio moves away from coal, carbon emissions continue to fall

The Eastlake coal plant, shown here in a 2011 photo, is among many retired in Ohio in recent years. Photo by Joe Dawson / Creative Commons

CLEVELAND — “While the state is still a major polluter, Ohio’s shift away from coal has led to a significant reduction in carbon emissions.

Carbon dioxide emissions from Ohio’s energy sector fell by 50 million metric tons from 2005 to 2015, according to data recently released by the Energy Information Administration.

What happened in Ohio “is like a lot of places,” said EIA energy and environment analyst Perry Lindstrom. ‘You’ve replaced coal with natural gas.’ Lindstrom’s December 11 Today in Energy report noted a nationwide trend in which all states except Louisiana and Nebraska cut energy-related carbon dioxide emissions over that ten-year period.

‘Coal has gone from around 80 percent to 60 percent of our generation over the ten year time span, and gas from around 3 to 23 percent,’ explained Andrew Thomas, an energy law and policy expert at Cleveland State University. Coal’s carbon dioxide emissions from Ohio’s energy sector fell by almost 47 percent during that ten-year period. Meanwhile, natural gas emissions grew almost eightfold, to 11.7 million metric tons.”

— Kathiann M. Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

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