Rory Carroll and Leslie Adler, REUTERS
California’s greenhouse gas emissions rose about 2 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year as more natural gas was burned to compensate for the closure of a nuclear plant and a drop in hydro-electricity due to a drought, the state’s air regulator said on Wednesday.
Higher utility sector emissions were offset somewhat by a modest decline in output from the transportation sector, which remains the state’s largest single source of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions.
Emissions from manufacturers stayed relatively flat despite a 13 percent increase from the cement sector as the state’s eight plants ramped up production.
State air officials said that despite the small overall increase, long-term trends show California is cutting emissions even as the economy recovers from a lengthy recession.
Transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions have fallen 12 percent over the past seven years due in part to a larger number of fuel-efficient vehicles on California roads, regulators said. The Toyota Prius, a hybrid that gets about 50 miles to the gallon, was the best-selling car in California in 2012.
Californian’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions have dropped 12 percent over the past decade, regulators said.