EIA: Yep, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions still falling

posted at 5:31 pm on April 6, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

While it’s quickly becoming apparent that the earth’s climate sensitivity probably isn’t nearly as cataclysmic as various eco-radicals have insisted for decades now, many greenie types maintain that we still need to be focusing on reducing our carbon emissions — so the dead-set opposition to the hydraulic fracturing technique that often helps produce natural gas is just a little bit bizarre.

On Friday, the Energy Information Administration reported that carbon dioxide emissions fell once again in 2012, bringing the United States’ emissions levels down to a two-decade low. The main culprit? The increasing availability and use of natural gas made possible by fracking, of course:

Graph of annual light bulb sales, as explained in the article text

Energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2012 were the lowest in the United States since 1994, at 5.3 billion metric tons of CO2 (see figure above). With the exception of 2010, emissions have declined every year since 2007.

The largest drop in emissions in 2012 came from coal, which is used almost exclusively for electricity generation (see figure below). During 2012, particularly in the spring and early summer, low natural gas prices led to competition between natural gas- and coal-fired electric power generators. Lower natural gas prices resulted in reduced levels of coal generation, and increased natural gas generation—a less carbon-intensive fuel for power generation, which shifted power generation from the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel (coal) to the least carbon-intensive fossil fuel (natural gas).

It’s yet another piece of evidence that environmental quality and economic prosperity are not mutually exclusive, even on a large scale; the innovations, efficiencies, and technological developments that come with an advanced economy can be good for both humanity and the planet.


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new strategy:warming is real and we must frack!

rob verdi on April 6, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Imagine if we could get all the homes to heat this way instead of electric, better yet get the electric power plants to go this way even, what a shift in the markets that would make.

MarshFox on April 6, 2013 at 5:40 PM

fracking

…frack them!

KOOLAID2 on April 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

As the indispensable Anthony Watts has put it, the US is the only major nation to actually meet the Kyoto emissions standards, without ever actually signing on. And we met it down to a tenth of a percentage point accuracy.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/05/usa-meets-kyoto-protocol-without-ever-embracing-it/#more-83474

jwehman on April 6, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Do you want to know where my BIL the tree/lumber grader says the next big source of carbon emissions is coming from? Old growth stands of mature and decaying trees.

Yep.

Better to cull the older ones and use the lumber as opposed to them releasing their sequestered carbon stored during growth.

hawkdriver on April 6, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Did we factor in the drop due to the decrease in energy use by people no longer driving to work because the don’t have jobs? The reduction because these same people have cut back on heating and cooling because they can’t afford it? The reduction in energy use in manufacturing because we’re not doing as much?

Also consider there has been no warming in the last 15 years, so to quote Hillary “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

I’d rather see a rise as an indicator the the country is up and running.

countrybumpkin on April 6, 2013 at 6:10 PM

While it’s quickly becoming apparent that the earth’s climate sensitivity probably isn’t nearly as cataclysmic as various eco-radicals have insisted for decades now

A very misleading statement given the fact that many scientists have reached the opposite conclusion. Cherry picking statistical facts didn’t work when trying to portray the election outcome conservatives prayed to find in pre-election polls, and it won’t work with evolutionary or global warming science either.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=climate-science-predictions-prove-too-conservative

bayam on April 6, 2013 at 6:24 PM

bayam on April 6, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Skip it. Like N. Korea, you’ve already lost.

trigon on April 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Destroying the economy will do that.

The Rogue Tomato on April 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM

bayam on April 6, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Thanks for the laugh, bam-bam. You warming cultists are a never-ending source of laughter.

Keep it up.

Solaratov on April 6, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Massive props to my home state, PA, which opened up to fracking just before the graph line trended downward. Last year frackers paid out $1 billion in royalties to landowners and $200 million in impact fees to the government. My heating bills are awesomely low.

Sad thing: Ed Rendell (D) was responsible for this when he was Gov. He said “yes” and our R legislature said “of course.”

albo on April 6, 2013 at 6:46 PM

its a metric without any f****** meaning or bearing in reality.

good grief.

tom daschle concerned on April 6, 2013 at 6:47 PM

wasn’t there a story the other day about the epa possibly going after wood burning stoves?

tom daschle concerned on April 6, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Just wait until everyone’s unemployed! Woohoo!

andycanuck on April 6, 2013 at 6:50 PM

So in other words….winters in Omaha are still gonna suck and be way cold.

Global Warming…you…you…flirt you.

By the way, Omaha is nice today and I have not been this warm for….six months.

KirknBurker on April 6, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Erika, you’ll never satisfy the eco-freaks. Those lemmings always have to have something to worry about so that they can continue to dictate to others.

I’m waiting for their next meeting, the one they will all WALK to, leaving their PRIVATE JETS at home.

GarandFan on April 6, 2013 at 7:08 PM

The main culprit? The increasing availability and use of natural gas made possible by fracking, of course:

20% real unemployment has a larger effect than the use of natural gas. In addition, emissions don’t tell the whole story. According to the Goracle, there’s enough CO2 already in the air to choke a horse.

BobMbx on April 6, 2013 at 7:27 PM

The largest drop in emissions in 2012 came from coal, which is used almost exclusively for electricity generation…

I gather this clown isn’t aware of how much coal is used by the steel industry.

Steven Den Beste on April 6, 2013 at 7:33 PM

bayam on April 6, 2013 at 6:24 PM

for those who don’t know, Scientific American used to be a very prestigious journal of science. Part of the total co-opting and culture hegemony of the Left has been to take over periodicals like SA wile still representing it as science

While bayam could give a care…the authors of this piece are just two more left wing climate agitators.

the aritcle appeard in Alternet

http://www.alternet.org/environment/climate-risks-have-been-underestimated-last-20-years?paging=off

Scherer is a long time lefty eco-journo (Salon, Grist, etc)

DailyClimate.org is a similar bunch of people

former Greenpeace people…and of course the Rockefeller Brothers fund. Charming bunch of people i’m sure.

http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/about

so when bayam comes around waving some fancy sounding article…well, it is just the Voice of the Left

r keller on April 6, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Read Scientific American for decades. Finally had to cancel my subscription because of the unscientific political nonsense.

Gingey on April 6, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Actually, the emissions are falling because the use of gasoline has been tanking throughout our depression: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-06/these-charts-better-not-represent-true-state-us-economy

Bart DePalma on April 6, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Read Scientific American for decades. Finally had to cancel my subscription because of the unscientific political nonsense.

Gingey on April 6, 2013 at 9:16 PM

I subscribed to SciAm for about 30 years before I gave it up over the overt leftyness. Then they offered a really cheap price to renew for a year at a low enough price they cannot possibly make money on it; so I did but I only read articles so far removed from politics that it would be pointless to slant it.

KW64 on April 6, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Plus the article Bayam links is from December 2012, before the Marcotte scandal.
Here is the first commenter to the piece:

1. Sisko 01:20 PM 12/6/12

The writer of this article; Glenn Scherer, seems to promote the spreading of inaccurate propaganda and untrue statements which seems typical of this publication. He writes “scientists believe” vs. accurately writing that some individual person or scientist believes without acknowledging that there are many, many other scientists who view the situation differently.

Let’s review some of the claims in this propaganda piece by Scherer …

AesopFan on April 6, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Every time we expose the LIE that IS the Bogus “Global Warming” charade – it is GOOD!

williamg on April 7, 2013 at 12:06 AM

bayam on April 6, 2013 at 6:24 PM

You are just another fundamentalist environmental hypocrite. You write your screeds using electrons powered by big energy/oil. Why do you hate the children by using energy sources that produce CO2. If you were really a true believer you’d quit suckling on the teat on big energy.

chemman on April 7, 2013 at 1:38 AM

A very misleading statement given the fact that many scientists have reached the opposite conclusion.

bayam on April 6, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Something those scientists don’t tell you is that they reached those conclusions without any facts whatsoever. It’s so outrageous that no one would think this is possible. Yet it’s absolutely true. They have never had a single shred of evidence to support AGW. What’s more, 100% of their models have now been found to be flawed. No warming in 20 years will do that.

Those same scientists are now scrambling. As evidence that they’ve been scrambling for a while is when they started blaming warm weather on CO2. They tried to call this “climate disruption”.

AGW was known to be a hoax 20 years ago. It’s still a hoax today. I’m a programmer. I’ve looked at their numbers. They’re so unreliable that the error margins overwhelm any significant data that could exist in their datasets. Said another way, there isn’t enough precision in their data. This is why they’ve refused to get statisticians to look at their data.

MrX on April 7, 2013 at 1:49 AM

Why show a pic of water vapor in a story about C02?

Akzed on April 7, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Imagine if we could get all the homes to heat this way instead of electric, better yet get the electric power plants to go this way even, what a shift in the markets that would make.

MarshFox on April 6, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Electric utilities are already moving that way, rapidly. Just one example.

Oldnuke on April 7, 2013 at 9:47 AM

EIACommon Sense: Yep, U.S. productivity thus carbon dioxide emissions still falling

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 7, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Retard the GDP, get lower energy usage and CO2 released.

BTW, climate is pretty much a one sided affair with the unshielded thermonuclear fusion ball 13,000,000,000 times the size of earth 8 light minutes away the driver and our orbit a distant second.

jukin3 on April 7, 2013 at 1:30 PM

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions still falling

Just as much as Hot Air’s continued linking of pictures of steam, to carbon dioxide.

Maybe you can go Full Journalist and post pictures of steam in shadow, to better manipulate low information America?

MNHawk on April 8, 2013 at 8:58 AM