At a "Your Weekly Address" of White House on August 13, I found the following sentence in a message by President Obama:

And carbon pollution from our energy sector is at its lowest level in 25 years, even as we’re continuing to grow our economy.

I wonder (or am confused) whether "from" is appropriate here to describe energy sector, or whether the preposition should be "in". So please explain the cases in which "in" or "from" should be used, or whether there is no difference at all (so I can use either one). Thank you.

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    The pollution is produced by the energy sector and therefore comes from it. In would imply that the pollution remains in the energy sector. – deadrat Aug 22 '16 at 7:15

"Carbon pollution" means CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels and released into the atmosphere.

The "energy sector" means all of the people, infrastructure and economic activity that goes into making and distributing energy.

The carbon pollution was made by the energy sector and released into the atmosphere as a by-product of producing energy. For it to be "in" the energy sector it would have to be part of it in some way and it isn't: its part of the atmosphere. However, since it was generated by the energy sector it is perfectly sensible to speak of it as having come "from" there.

  • Just to add to this, it is very common to hear "in the X sector", for example "Growth in the energy sector", "Unemployment in the manufacturing sector" etc - as @DaleM says, they are within that sector. – Max Williams Aug 22 '16 at 7:44

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