Story at a glance

  • The coronavirus crisis prompted the U.S. economy to shut down in the Spring.
  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Wednesday that the nation consumed 6.5 quadrillion British thermal units of energy in April, the lowest monthly level of consumption the U.S. has seen since 1989.
  • Energy use in April was also 14 percent lower than in April 2019, the largest year-over-year decrease ever recorded in data that’s been collected by the EIA since 1973.

U.S. energy consumption in April dropped to its lowest level in more than 30 years as the coronavirus pandemic forced the nation’s economy to shut down in an effort to mitigate the deadly outbreak that has now claimed the lives of more than 150,000 Americans. 

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Wednesday that the nation consumed 6.5 quadrillion British thermal units of energy in April, the lowest monthly level of consumption the U.S. has seen since 1989. 


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Energy use in April was also 14 percent lower than in April 2019, the largest year-over-year decrease ever recorded in data that’s been collected by the EIA since 1973. The decline was driven by less demand for coal and oil as coronavirus lockdowns brought the U.S. economy to a near standstill. 

“In 2020, April was the height of stay-at-home measures enacted to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which caused a large drop in transportation, industrial, and commercial sector energy consumption,” the EIA said. 

The EIA forecasts overall energy consumption will increase for the rest of the year but will stay below 2019 levels. 

Coronavirus lockdowns around the world during the early days of the pandemic caused dramatic, yet short-lived, changes in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions as large swaths of the population were required to adhere to stay-at-home orders. 

China, which was once the epicenter of the pandemic, recorded a 25 percent drop in CO2 emissions in February while Italy in the spring saw a steep drop in nitrogen dioxide. 

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell 18 percent from March 15 to June 15 as the health crisis brought the economy to a screeching halt, according to researchers at Rhodium Group. Researchers estimate emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases could see a lower growth trajectory through the end of the decade due to the pandemic.

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BREAKING NEWS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

COUNTRIES LED BY WOMEN HAVE FARED BETTER AGAINST CORONAVIRUS. WHY?

MORE THAN 8.7 MILLION CORONAVIRUS CASES WENT UNDETECTED IN MARCH

EXPERTS: 90% OF CORONAVIRUS DEATHS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED

FAUCI PREDICTS ANOTHER CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN THE FALL WITH A 'VERY DIFFERENT' OUTCOME


 

Published on Jul 29, 2020