Emissions generated by industrial manufacturing jumped 5.7%, according to research firm Rhodium Group. "It is the second largest gain in more than two decades". Emissions rose 3.4 per cent in 2018, the largest increase in the United States since 2010.
The move sent a political signal that the Trump administration is intent on shoring up the coal industry and other energy interests and environmentalists worry the proposed rule suggests the EPA will set new standards that would weaken the requirements that the agency uses to regulate other types of pollution.
With the growing replacement of coal by natural gas and renewable energy, however, fossil fuel emissions have decreased, declining every year over the last three years.
Greater demand for electricity, trucking and air travel contributed to the spike.
Transportation is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. According to the report, the first nine months of 2018 yielded a meager 0.1 percent decline in demand for gasoline.
Emissions have increased because of trucking and air travel, while Carbon dioxide pollution from individual cars was stable compared to 2017.
"The US was already off track in meeting its Paris Agreement targets".
In total, transportation emissions grew by 1 percent in 2018, the same growth rate as in 2017.
Elgie Holstein, Senior Director for Strategic Planning of the Environmental Defense Fund, tells Salon this report is a "sobering reminder" that, while scientists are warning the world to act quickly on climate change, the Trump administration is working trying to dismantle previously established safeguards.
The Trump administration has at times denied the basic science of climate change, which states that burning coal, oil and natural gas produces emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere, warming the planet.
Analysts estimate that energy-related Carbon dioxide emissions grew 3.4 percent from 2017 to 2018, which would be the largest increase in the United States since 2010.
Emissions from residential and commercial buildings, which use oil and gas for heating and cooking, rose 10 percent a year ago. "Some of this was due to unusually cold weather at the start of the year".
Natural gas, which emits about half of the carbon of coal, replaced most of the lost coal generation, but also served the vast majority of load growth for electricity past year, the report said. "Finally, we need to encourage more cities and states to advance their own plans to cut emissions, accelerate federal clean energy technology R&D, and invest in green infrastructure and enlist more companies to join in the fight", the director said.
Part of last year's spike is also the result of economic growth, but new policies have exacerbated the effects of increased industry production.
And without significant changes, industrial emissions will become bigger contributors to US CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions.
Currently, the world is 1°C warmer than pre-industrial levels, thanks to human activity.
"The big takeaway for me is that we haven't yet successfully decoupled USA emissions growth from economic growth", Rhodium climate and energy analyst Trevor Houser told the New York Times.
Last October, 91 scientists from 40 countries warned that urgent action must be taken to reduce the impact of rising global temperatures across the world, citing that a half degree could make a big difference in the future.