The Energy Department says heat-trapping pollution from U.S. power plants hit a 27-year low in April.
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Energy Department economist Allen McFarland said a big factor was the long-term shift from coal to cleaner and cheaper natural gas. Outside experts also credit more renewable fuel use and energy efficiency.
According to figures released Wednesday, electric power plants spewed 141 million tons of carbon dioxide in April, the lowest for any month since April 1988. The power plants are responsible for about one-third of the country's heat-trapping emissions.
Federal analysts predict that this year the amount of electricity from natural gas will increase 3 percent compared to last year while the power from coal will go down 10 percent.