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For Immediate Release: October 31, 2006
Media Contact: Adam Gottlieb - 916-654-4989

New Research Identifies California's Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Energy Commission Report Examines Causes of Climate Change

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission today released a new draft staff report that provides estimates of the state's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared over a 15-year period. The report, Inventory of California Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990 to 2004, provides policy makers and researchers with the sources of emissions that could dramatically alter the climate and landscape of California.

"This latest report provides us with a good guide to measure future reductions in the gases that contribute to global climate change," said B.B. Blevins, Energy Commission Executive Director. "This inventory will be invaluable in working to ensure that emissions are reduced to 1990 levels by 2020 in accordance with the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006."

In 2004, California produced 492 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent GHG emissions, including emissions associated with imported electricity. GHG emissions include carbon dioxide (CO2) methane, nitrous oxide, and assorted high global warming potential gases. CO2 is a colorless, odorless gas naturally present in the atmosphere. It is produced by breathing as well as from the combustion of fossils fuels. CO2 is absorbed by trees and plants during photosynthesis.

California's ability to slow the growing rate of GHG emissions is due to the success of its energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. However, due to increasing population and economic growth, total gross greenhouse gas emissions still rose 14.3 percent from 1990 to 2004.

In 2004, CO2 emissions represented 84 percent of the state's total greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, 81 percent of all CO2 emissions were produced by burning fossil fuels. The largest sector was transportation - which included gasoline and jet fuel consumption - at 40.7 percent; electricity generation (22.2 percent); industrial (20.5 percent); agriculture and forestry (8.3 percent); and other (8.3 percent) rounded out the equation.

Statistics were derived from the United States Energy Information Administration and data collected by the Energy Commission.

The report can be downloaded from the California Climate Change website at:


Created by the Legislature in 1974, the California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The Energy Commission has five major responsibilities: forecasting future energy needs and keeping historical energy data; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency through appliance and building standards; developing energy technologies and supporting renewable energy; an planning for and directing state response to energy emergency.

Members of the Energy Commission are Chairman Jackalyne Pfannenstiel; Vice Chair James D. Boyd; Commissioners Jeffrey Byron; John Geesman; and Dr. Arthur H. Rosenfeld.

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