Skip to comments.AP IMPACT: CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low
Posted on 08/18/2012 5:10:50 PM PDT by newzjunkey
PITTSBURGH (AP) In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.
Many of the world's leading climate scientists didn't see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.
Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, said the shift away from coal is reason for "cautious optimism" about potential ways to deal with climate change. He said it demonstrates that "ultimately people follow their wallets" on global warming.
"There's a very clear lesson here. What it shows is that if you make a cleaner energy source cheaper, you will displace dirtier sources," said Roger Pielke Jr., a climate expert at the University of Colorado ...
While conservation efforts, the lagging economy and greater use of renewable energy are factors in the CO2 decline, the drop-off is due mainly to low-priced natural gas, the agency said.
A frenzy of shale gas drilling in the Northeast's Marcellus 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 ...
(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...
Of course the article still attacks the use of natural gas.
"What it shows is that if you make a cleaner energy source cheaper, you will displace dirtier sources," said Roger Pielke Jr., a climate expert at the University of Colorado ... "
Of course the AGW phonies had nothing to do with making natural gas cheaper. And while the statement should be trueconomically, my local electricity bills -- already very high -- get higher and higher in line with Obama's promise that they would. The gas price may be cheaper to utilities but they're still screwing their customers.
>>true economically speaking<< that should be.
Pfffft. And these are the "brainiacs" we're supposed to trust to "save" us all from GW.....
And here we thought CO2 was responsible for global warming! Not possible since we're at a 20 year low and have the hottest summer on record here in Illinois!
Stop right there. Isn't he the same "scientist" that was completely discredited because of some email leaks? ROFL!! Yep, one and the same!
that Penn State is a helluva place, ain’t it?
The Electric companies have billions of dollars invested in retrofitting old coal plants to Natural Gas, or in most cases closing those coal fired plants and building new gas fired plants.
Even with the massive increase in known reserves and the technology to extract it at low cost, Coal is only more expensive to use because of the burdensome and retrograde regulations of CO2 sequestration and storage requirements.
This is an EPA scam and your electric bill shows it.
All the money used to retrofit and build new gas plants to replace very efficient and inexpensive coal plants is money NOT spent on pour aging and inferior electric grid.
BTW WHY IS Mike Mann Still employed after his proved fraud.
The sameone that thought that climate science could be explained with a “hokey stick”.
I like it!
Yes, but before Roger goes too far, we need to clarify. This does not mean that hiking the prices on "dirty" fuels is equally good as dropping the prices on clean fuel. Artificially raising prices only causes us to be less competative in the global marketplace. Dropping prices on any fuel is good for us globally.
Gee, could it be that economic activity is at a 20 yr. low too? Related? Nah/s
The happy thing history will record is that Mann is a AGW tool and not his “hockey stick”.
The evil BushCheneyRove and the eeevvviiiilll Koch Brothers musta had a lot of evil SUV’s running around at the time of the Norman Invasion.
Obama killed the economy...so no one is producing anything and there’s no energy being consumed. That’s why CO2 emissions went down so fast.
THANK YOU! You saved me from having to make the same point. Artificially hiking prices on any product introduces market distortions often leading to bad unintended consequences.
Might as well blame him for this also.
What? The free market solved the non-problem? NO WAY!
Scientists think they can get real co2 measurements over a span of years AND KNOW HOW TO RELATE THEM???...They’re full of cr**.