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CO2 emission rate of leading power producers in the United States 2018

In 2018, the privately/investor owned power producer with the highest carbon dioxide emission rate was the PPL Corporation. The Pennsylvania based company emitted 1,967 pounds of CO2 for each megawatt-hour of electricity generated. Much of PPL's power production comes from the burning of coal, which is the most polluting of fossil fuels.

Much like the rest of the world, the energy sector is by far the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. In 2018, U.S. power plants released 1.8 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission rate of leading privately/investor owned power producers in the United States in 2018 (in pounds per megawatt hour)*

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Release date

July 2020


United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*"Privately/investor owned” power producers include investor owned, privately held, and foreign owned corporations. This chart does not show public power producers (federal power authorities, state power authorities, municipalities, power districts) or cooperatives. Based on emissions information of power producers, not distribution utilities that deliver electricity to customers

Emission rate (lbs/MWh):
Average pounds of pollutant (e.g., CO2, SO2, NOx) emitted for each megawatt-hour of electricity generation in a region

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