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CO2 emissions down

I thought this was worth sharing.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) just issued its must-read report on U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions in 2009.  It turns out energy-related CO2 emissions have dropped faster than EIA had expected just a few months ago (see my September post, “EIA stunner: By year’s end, we’ll be 8.5% below 2005 levels of CO2 — halfway to climate bill’s 2020 target“).

Surely this country could reduce CO2 emissions a little more than 7% in 10 years and meet the modest target set out in the Senate climate bill, which appears likely to be introduced next week.  It really isn’t bloody hard (see Game changer part 2: Unconventional gas makes the 2020 Waxman-Markey target so damn easy and cheap to meet).

Yes, a part of the recent drop in CO2 is due to the recession, but actually that was only just a piece.  Other key factors including low natural gas prices, gains in efficiency, state renewable energy standards, and a clean-energy-friendly stimulus (see “EIA projects wind at 5% of U.S. electricity in 2012, all renewables at 14%, thanks to Obama stimulus!“).

You’d think the recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico would make it easier to pass a comprehensive climate and energy bill, but so far that hasn’t been the case. It would help if more government officials viewed the matter as important, since the consequences could be truly catastrophic, but again, so far that hasn’t been the case. The sad thing is that achieving the modest goal that the House and Senate bills aim for may be easier than we think, as we’re farther along already than we realize. Look at the graph in the link above – we’re almost at 1990 levels of CO2 emissions. Surely we can take the next steps.

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