Carbon Dioxide

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Fall Again—Down 12 Percent from 2005

Yet the U.S. economy grew in real terms by 15 percent since 2005.

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CarbonDioxideDreamtsimeLasseKristensen
Dreamstime: Lasse Kristensen

Carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels is the largest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The Energy Information Administration has just released its analysis of carbon dioxide emissions for 2015 and reports that after a slight uptick in 2013 and 2014 energy-related emissions have again fallen. The agency notes, "U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were 12% below the 2005 levels, mostly because of changes in the electric power sector." The agency further notes that most of the reductions have occurred as a result of switching from coal to natural gas to generate electricity. Overall, the EIA reports that "the fuel-use changes in the power sector have accounted for 68% of the total energy-related CO2 reductions from 2005 to 2015." The bottom line is that this reduction in carbon dioxide emissions results largely from cheap natural gas from shale produced by horizontal drilling combined with fracking.

More good news: Companies are wringing more and more value out of each unit of energy consumed and each ton carbon dioxide emitted. The EIA reports that "on a per-dollar of gross domestic product (GDP) basis, in 2015, the United States used 15% less energy per unit of GDP and produced 23% fewer energy-related CO2 emissions per unit of GDP, compared with the energy and emissions per dollar of GDP in 2005."

CarbonEmissions2015EIA
EIA

Warmer winter weather also contributed to lower emissions as Americans burned less fuel to keep themselves comfortable. Interestingly, I reported earlier that a new study has concluded that climate change so far appears to be making the weather more pleasant for most Americans.

While U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from declined by 12 percent, the Environmental Protection Agency reports that as of 2014 overall greenhouse gas emissions, including methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases, are only about 9 percent lower than they were in 2005. The Obama Administration has promised the United Nations that the U.S. will cut by 2020 its greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent below their 2005 levels. And by 2025, U.S. emissions are supposed to fall by 26 to 28 percent below their 2005 levels.

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  1. The agency further notes that most of the reductions have occurred as a result of switching from coal to natural gas to generate electricity.

    Boooooooooooooo!

  2. So lower CO2 emissions correlates with a sluggish economy. There’s a shocker.

    1. Yep,and bail outs,wars,new regs,QE 1,2,,it’s all good.

  3. So will this be received as good news or bad amongst the climate faithful?

    1. Bad. Because most really don’t give a damn about the environment.

    2. Bad news. We already went through significant reductions in CO2 emissions and reduced fossil fuel use, and they bitched about it because it was for the “wrong reasons”.

      They don’t want us to reduce emissions because we can’t afford to burn fossil fuels, they want us to stop using fossil fuels of out of our legislated commitment to saving the planet. We don’t want you to surrender with an empty confession, we want you to believe.

      1. Sun,wind and unicorn farts will power the wolrd.Look at Germany,so says Vox.

        1. You mean Lignite is not compressed plant matter but solidified unicorn farts?

      2. It’s the same reasoning used in the crusade against e-cigarettes. The end goal is a fossel fuel-free society/nicotine free society, and any technology improvements that allow us to continue sinning with fewer consequences is an impediment to this goal, because then it would be harder to force people to give it up completely. They want MORE harm associated with the perceived sins, so it will be easier to justify totalitarian rehabilitation.

    3. There isn’t anything new about this information–it’s just under-reported. I suspect it’s just politically incorrect to report anything that might be misconstrued as support for climate change denial.

      When CO2 emission levels started dropping precipitously circa 2007-2008 (see chart), the watermelons chalked it up to the recession. The first and worst lie the the socialists in green ever told is that economic growth is incompatible with falling CO2 emissions.

      They don’t want you to think that’s possible. It’s their Malthusian, zero-sum thinking at its heart.

      Burning natural gas releases approximately 40% less CO2 in the atmosphere than burning coal–to create the same amount of energy–and it will probably always cost less to drill pump gas than mine coal (if only for labor costs alone).

  4. A growth rate of 2 % the last 10 years? Not something to crow about.What was inflation? Not good.Bush and Obama sucked.I know,let’s raise taxes and ban fossil fuels.That’s the ticket!Hell,let’s do a rade war too.

    1. Trade war

      1. Are we going to issue letters of marque to seize enemy flagged cargo ships?

    2. More like 1.3% growth per year, assuming 11 years.

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  6. The Sierra Club and every other ostensibly environmentalist organization that condemns fracking should be ashamed of themselves.

    http://www.sierraclub.org/policy/energy/fracking

    Their real view is that developing new sources of CO2 to throw up into the atmosphere isn’t likely to create a future with less CO2 in the atmosphere than there would be otherwise. What they fail to grasp–because of their socialist worldview–is that the will to save the environment for the benefit of people who will be born a hundred years from now is insufficient to entice people today to sacrifice their standard of living. But the solution to that problem isn’t to denounce the middle class as uneducated and selfish. The solution is to tell people the truth . . .

    And the truth is that declining CO2 emissions are, in fact, thoroughly compatible with economic growth.

    1. “U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were 12% below the 2005 levels, mostly because of changes in the electric power sector.” The agency further notes that most of the reductions have occurred as a result of switching from coal to natural gas to generate electricity. Overall, the EIA reports that “the fuel-use changes in the power sector have accounted for 68% of the total energy-related CO2 reductions from 2005 to 2015.”

      Cue Obama taking credit in 5, 4, 3, 2…

      1. What they should also note is that we all but met our Kyoto treaty responsibilities without signing the Kyoto treaty–and without really trying!

        We were below the 1997 level in 2012.

        Who needs a treaty?

  7. “The first and worst lie the the socialists in green ever told is that economic growth is incompatible with falling CO2 emissions.”

    I should add–and I hope this offends the climate change deniers around here . . .

    That lie is so pervasive that the climate change deniers believe it themselves!

    The true reason so many people deny the science is because: 1a) they oppose the government using it as an excuse for socialist and authoritarian solutions and 1b) they believe that any reduction in CO2 emissions necessarily means a reduction in their standard of living.

    I’m here to tell you–our standard of living will never be what it would have been if we institute socialist solutions, but there is no reason why living standards can’t continue to improve even IF IF IF energy costs increase in the future.

    In the meantime, how will we ever get the greens to reject the lie that dropping CO2 levels are incompatible with a growing economy–if we believe that lie ourselves?

    If we implemented changes that increased the cost of adding CO2 to the atmosphere, our economy could continue to grow anyway. Increasing energy costs may or may not succeed in hurting economic growth–it’s the socialism and authoritarianism championed that would definitely crush the economy.

    1. The ‘Science’ actually says there is either no causal link between carbon dioxide and atmospheric temperature or such a tiny causal link that it is drowned out by other factors. Even the greenies’ own models say as much, as they had to remove all trace of water vapor from the formulation of their model atmosphere before the changes in carbon dioxide had any calculable impact.

      1. What the science says isn’t especially important to me. Science is a consensus, and that consensus can and does change as new data becomes available. What science knows today can and will change tomorrow.

        And even if the science says the alarmists are right, I’d oppose authoritarian and socialist solutions anyway.

        Even if the science was right, dropping CO2 emissions would still be compatible with economic growth.

        If it doesn’t matter what the science says, on those two points, then why should I care about what the science says?

      2. If anything, most of the honest to goodness science (not to be confused with the crap put out by the vermin in the Hansen/CRU gang) shows that the CO2 levels lag behind by a couple of centuries, which of course makes it impossible to be the primary cause of temperature changes.

      3. And Ron is in the tack for a carbon tax.It will stifle growth and will just be added on to other taxes now on the books,That’s the REASON I have problems with him.

        1. Tank,I need to pay attention

        2. I prefer sales taxes to income taxes for a number of reasons.

          I’d certainly prefer to tax something like carbon instead of income, profits, or capital gains. Taxing income, profits, and capital gains has all sorts of bad socialist things associated with it.

          Taxing carbon intensive activity by way of a sales tax is much less socialist than those other taxes. If we could move to a system where our primary means of taxation was carbon intensive activity by way of sales taxes–and get rid of income taxes, corporate taxes, and capital gains taxes completely, I’d jump at the opportunity.

          I’m not opposed to a carbon tax on principle. I’m opposed to adding a carbon tax on top of all our other forms of taxation.

          P.S. I don’t even care if global warming is a hoax. I’d still rather tax carbon intensive activity through sales taxes anyway. Global warming may be a hoax, but the pain and agony caused by socialism isn’t a hoax. And redistributing wealth through income taxes, corporate taxes, and capital gains taxes is socialism.

          1. I’d certainly prefer to tax something like carbon instead of income, profits, or capital gains. Taxing income, profits, and capital gains has all sorts of bad socialist things associated with it.

            It’s immoral and requires intrusions from the state where the state doesn’t belong.

            1. You’re saying a sales tax on carbon does that?

              As opposed to being forced to file a tax return with every penny you’ve made on it under penalty of perjury?

              The other great thing about sales taxes is that you can choose not to pay them. If you’d rather use extra blankets at night, put in other substitutes for energy from fossil fuels, etc., then you wouldn’t have to pay any tax at all.

              That’s a far more libertarian tax than throwing people in jail for not reporting their income accurately, sending them to prison for not paying taxes on business profits, or failing to report to the government that you made a capital gain.

  8. most of the reductions have occurred as a result of switching from coal to natural gas to generate electricity

    See? SEE, YOU HEATHENS? This is how Obama saves us. BOW BEFORE YOUR SAVIOR!

  9. Sounds like a pretty solid plan to me dude. WOw.

    http://www.Complete-Privacy.tk

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