As for the overall findings, Rhodium does not mince words. The report looked at natural gas and oil consumption along with carbon emissions related to power generation and estimated an increase of 3.4% in 2018.
According to Rhodium, that’s the most significant uptick in recent years. The biggest one occurred when the economy revved up again in 2010, after the Great Recession.
Carbon emissions related to power generation alone rose by 1.9% in 2018, according to the study.
The transportation sector is also not off the hook when it comes to offsetting carbon emissions progress in one area with backsliding in another.
Rhodium notes that the transportation sector is still the nation’s single largest source of carbon emissions. They estimate that a slight drop in demand for gasoline in 2018 was more than offset by increased demand for diesel and jet fuels.
Rounding out the analysis, Rhodium notes that an unusually cold winter contributed to a spike in carbon emissions by the buildings and industrial sectors of the economy, but they suggest that if the US was making more progress on improving building energy efficiency, the cold weather would not have made such a big difference.