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U.S. Emissions Down

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Washington has reported a fall in greenhouse gas emissions for 2006, the first year-on-year drop since 2001. The 1.5% reduction still leaves US emissions 15.1% above the key 1990 baseline. The Energy Information Administration attributed the fall to favourable weather conditions, higher energy prices and a greater use of non-fossil fuels and natural gas in generating electricity. Philip E. Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, said the previous one-year drop in 2001 was the result of an economic recession. Perhaps there’s another on the way.

In addition to reporting the total tonnage of gases emitted, the Bush administration compared the tons emitted to economic growth. Using this measure of “greenhouse gas intensity,” it reported a reduction of nearly 28% since 1990. Good to see Washington has finally invested in some creative statistics classes.

David Sandalow, an assistant secretary of State specializing in the environment during the Clinton administration, noted that some European nations with economies similar to that of the United States had achieved greater emissions reductions. Blimey, if European economies are similar to that of the US, we really are in trouble.

Los Angeles Times


Written by Pete Smith

December 1, 2007 at 12:15 pm

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