The PJ Tatler

Report: Carbon Emissions in US Lowest Since 1994

Carbon emissions in the US were at their lowest level in 2012 since 1994, according to figures released by the US Energy Information Administration.

We did it without carbon trading scams, the EPA making carbon dioxide a poison, or obeying the dictates of the Kyoto climate Treaty.

We did it partly because of decreased economic activity as a result of the Obama recovery-that-isn’t, but mostly because of good old fashioned market forces; competition between natural gas and coal:

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).

Other factors contributing to the lower emissions include decreased demand for transportation fuels and mild winter temperatures that reduced demand for heating. The warm winter months during 2012 (particularly in the first quarter) more than offset a slight increase in cooling degree days during the summer months. EIA recently published preliminary data for January-December 2012 in the March 2013 edition of the Monthly Energy Review, which includes statistics covering all aspects of energy. EIA will publish a full analysis of 2012 energy-related CO2 emissions later this year.

As climate skeptic Anthony Watts points out, these numbers mean we achieved the goals of the Kyoto treaty without even trying:

New EIA data shows USA inadvertently meets 1997 Kyoto protocol CO2 emission reductions without ever signing on thanks to a stagnant economy. Lowest level of CO2 emissions since 1994.

In 2012, a surprising twist and without ever ratifying it, the United States became the first major industrialized nation in the world to meet the United Nation’s original Kyoto Protocol 2012 target for CO2 reductions.

WUWT readers may recall that Kyoto was an international agreement proposed in December 1997 requiring nations (according to the U.N. press release then) to reduce CO2 emissions by 5.2% by 2012. It became international law when ratified by Russia in November 2004. The United States never ratified Kyoto and is not legally bound by it, even though then vice president Al Gore signed it much to the annoyance of many.

It expired on December 31st, 2012, with no replacement agreement to follow it.

It must really rile the climate alarmists — the US being the only country in the world to meet the goals to reduce emissions set by the Kyoto treaty and we didn’t even try. And think of the role capitalism played in the reduction.

Heads are exploding all over Europe tonight.

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