EPA: 2009 greenhouse gas emissions were lowest recorded since 1995

Fewer greenhouse gases were emitted in 2009 than any year since 1995, the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday. But the agency noted that overall emissions have increased by more than 7.3 percent in the last two decades.

The EPA found that greenhouse gases emitted in the United States during 2009 decreased by 6.1 percent as compared to those emitted in 2008.

The reason? U.S. fuel consumption and electricity use went down.

Scientists say greenhouse gas emissions are the main contributor to climate change. The EPA has moved to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, but Republicans and some Democrats in Congress are trying to block the agency's authority to impose climate change rules.

The 2009 emissions represent the lowest annual U.S. greenhouse gas emissions since 1995. But, EPA notes, overall emissions have increased by more than 7.3 percent from 1990 to 2009.

The data is included in EPA's annual greenhouse gas inventory, which was released Monday. It represents EPA's most up-to-date greenhouse gas emissions numbers.