Friday, January 4, 2013

An American Triumph: US Carbon Emissions In 2012 Fall 4% & 12% From Peak Level In 2007

Uncle Sam is showing the world that carbon emissions can be cut sharply and cheaply.  Just consider these facts.

US energy related carbon emissions in 2012 will fall below 5,300 million tons or down about 12%, compared to the peak emissions of 6,023 million tons in 2007.  Through this September, carbon emissions have been down every month in 2012, when compared to each of the first 9 months of 2011 and 2010. No other country matches that record.  www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec12_3.pdf/sec12_3.pdf/.

It is a true American triumph that energy related carbon emissions will be down in 2012 another 4% from 2011 levels and will be back to approximately 1995 levels.  The carbon clock has rolled back 17 years, and 2012 emissions will be even less than in the near-depression year of 2009.

US GDP has grown every quarter since July 1, 2009, and today our economy is bigger than it was in 2007, the peak carbon emission year.  Yet, even with an economy in 2012 that is bigger than in 2007, our carbon emissions will be 12% lower than they were in 2007.

The recipe for US carbon success includes more natural gas, renewable energy, energy efficiency.  But central and unique to the US success is massive shale gas production and the resulting low gas prices causing a substantial shift to electricity generated from lower carbon gas and away from coal and oil.

Many other countries like China are investing heavily in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and such investments are essential. Notwithstanding impressive investments in clean energy, China and other nations have rising coal use and carbon emissions.  Around the world, renewables and energy efficiency help but have not been enough by themselves to even stabilize carbon emissions, let alone reduce them.

Only the USA has had a shale gas boom and only the USA has cut substantially its carbon emissions since 2006.  When combined with rising amounts of renewable energy and energy efficiency, the shale gas boom substantially decreased US carbon emissions.  Moreover, US electricity prices in 2012 have barely increased and natural gas prices have plummeted.

Cleaner and cheaper energy is a real American triumph and my Top Energy Fact of 2012!





10 comments:

  1. One explanation, according to D.C. Streets Blog, "[s]ince 2005, Americans have been driving fewer miles each year."

    http://dc.streetsblog.org/2012/11/05/its-not-the-economy-stupid-americans-really-are-driving-less/

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    1. Read a little more closely next time-- "energy related carbon emissions," as in electricity production. Not total carbon emissions.

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    2. The post says "energy related carbon emissions." FYI: Energy related carbon emissions are about 85% of total emissions.

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  2. So this mean the US might hit it's original Kyoto targets, accidentally?

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    1. Actually more by hard work and determination rather than by accident. They also had to overcome numerous attempts to unjustly smear them for eco damage too. And now ironically its helping CO2 counts better than anyone ever thought. Amazing!

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    2. I believe Kyoto required US emissions to be about 7% below 1990 levels. Current emissions are above that amount but have been heading toward the Kyoto numbers.

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  3. *Cars produce less than 25% of carbon emissions, most of it comes from buildings. Driving less, or , improved mileage has little impact on total levels. Locally this may be less true.

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  4. Don't worry, even now, greens and their enablers are struggling to create ways to strangle this new fossil energy which their religion forbids.

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  5. So for those environmentalists concerned about global warming, hydraulic fracking, which they oppose, has allowed the natural gas boom, which has helped control CO2 emissions more than any law they could have proposed. A bit of irony there.

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  6. This item has been picked up by Reason's blog.
    http://reason.com/blog/2013/01/07/fracking-amazing-us-carbon-emissions-low

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