Greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants fell 4.6 percent in 2011 as more generators were switched to cleaner-burning natural gas and renewable sources from coal, according to new data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The agency's second inventory of greenhouse gas emissions reported by the country's largest industrial polluters showed that power plants - which account for one-third of U.S. emissions - released 2.22 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2011.

Despite the decline in power plant emissions, coal-fired power plants continue to be the largest single source of carbon emissions in the United States, the data showed.

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