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You can put a in all those curly light bulbs and drive all the Priuses you want; India just ate that for breakfast and China will eat the next round of conservation for lunch

United States Carbon Emissions Drop Drastically

By —— Bio and Archives--September 5, 2012

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The United States is leading the world in reducing its emissions of carbon dioxide. And it’s doing so by a wide margin.

As Robert Bryce reports, “Yes, you read that right. The United States—the country that is routinely vilified by the Green/Left for refusing to sign the Kyoto protocol or impose carbon taxes or institute a cap-and-trade system—is dramatically cutting its production of carbon dioxide. Proof of that has come from both the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris and the Energy Information Administration in Washington. On May 24, the IEA reported that US carbon dioxide emissions ‘have fallen by 430 million tons (7.7 percent) since 2006, the largest reduction of all countries or regions.’ The reasons for that big reduction, said IEA were; lower oil use, the economic downturn, and a substantial shift from coal to gas in the power sector.” (1)

The drop-off is due mainly to low-priced natural gas. A frenzy of shale gas drilling in the Northeast’s Macellus Shale and in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana has caused the wholesale price of natural gas to plummet from $7 or $8 per unit to about $3 over the past four years, making it cheaper to burn than coal for a given amount of energy produced. As a result, utilities are relying more than ever on gas-fired generating plants. (2)

You would think this would please activists. Not so! Activists have turned their guns on natural gas, blaming if for everything from headaches to breast cancer. Basically, energy companies can’t win unless they require billions in subsidies from the government, i.e., they don’t produce any energy , like wind, and solar. (3)

The Sierra Club claims the gas industry is dirty, dangerous, and running amok.  It adds, “The closer we look at natural gas, the dirtier it appears…if we can’t protect our health and treasured landscapes from the damages caused by the natural gas industry, then we should not drill for natural gas.” (1)

Robert Bryce notes, “That’s a remarkable set of statements from the Sierra Club, particularly given that the group received some $26 million in donations from the gas industry between 2007 and 2010, most of it from Chesapeake Energy’s embattled CEO, Aubrey McClendon. During many of those years, the Sierra Club supported natural gas because , as the group’s executive director, Michael Brune, put it earlier this year, the fuel could play a necessary role in helping us reach the clean energy future our children deserve.” (1)

In spite of the decrease in the United States, coal and energy use are still growing rapidly in other countries, particularly China and India and CO2 levels are rising globally, not falling. Worldwide coal consumption has increased by almost 50% over the last ten years alone. Such a rash increase has never been seen before. China and India alone account for 90 percent of this increase. At 42.8%, almost half of the world’s coal consumption is by China. And if that isn’t enough, plans by China’s leadership provide for a coal power expansion of 600 gigawatts by the year 2035. Also, in western countries, coal consumption increased by 5.4% in the year 2010, the most since 1979. (4)

China’s increase alone means that England’s 2020 reduction target will be replaced by the Chinese in just 17 days. The USA’s 2020 target of 1 Gt will take 261 days for the Chinese to replace. In fact, if the USA were to go to 0 emissions today, the Chinese would replace those emissions in just 3.6 years. So, As Fareed Zakaria has said, “You can put a in all those curly light bulbs and drive all the Priuses you want; India just ate that for breakfast and China will eat the next round of conservation for lunch.” (5)


  1. Robert Bryce, “Inside the strange world of ‘green energy’ politics and how it’s ruining the US,”, July 17, 2012
  2. Kevin Begos, “CO2 emission in the US plummet,” Fresno Bee, August 17, 2012, Page A11
  3. Hank Campbell, “It worked! US energy emissions back at 1992 levels,”, August 1, 2012
  4. P. Gosselin, “It’s just the dawn of life-saving coal: 2010 consumption jumped 5.4%—most since 1979,”, October 7, 2011
  5. Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World, (New York, W. W. Norton & Co., 2008), 90

Jack Dini -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Jack Dini is author of Challenging Environmental Mythology.  He has also written for American Council on Science and Health, Environment & Climate News, and Hawaii Reporter.

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