US energy emissions flat for next 25 years

From the US Energy Information Adminstration's latest thinking:

Total U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions remain below their 2005 level through 2035: Energy-related CO2 emissions grow by 3 percent from 2010 to 2035, reaching 5,806 million metric tons in 2035. They are more than 7 percent below their 2005 level in 2020 and do not return to the 2005 level of 5,996 million metric tons by the end of the projection period. Emissions per capita fall by an average of 1 percent per year from 2005 to 2035, as growth in demand for transportation fuels is moderated by higher energy prices and Federal fuel economy standards. Proposed fuel economy standards covering model years 2017 through 2025 that are not included in the Reference case would further reduce projected energy use and emissions. Electricity-related emissions are tempered by appliance and lighting efficiency standards, State renewable portfolio standard requirements, competitive natural gas prices that dampen coal use by electric generators, and implementation of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

Two comments: First, if we can hold energy-related emissions steady for the next while without resorting to a carbon tax, cap-and-trade scheme or other legislative stick, imagine what could be done with the right tools.

Second, similar trends are not expected in China and India.

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First they had pollution in cities. Then they moved coal-fired power plants out of the cities and shifted the pollution into the country. Now they've moved pollution into another country... China. Sheer genius.

By Mike Mellor (not verified) on 24 Jan 2012 #permalink

Neat. Not good enough though. We need to lower them and help the rest of the world do the same. But this does say something about how easy that could be!

On one hand I'm glad that our country FINALLY got it that we release by far the most carbon dioxide and that we need to stop that. On the other hand I still think that this is not good enough. We need to be more radical. As radical as we were with the industrial revolution as radical we need to be now. The time is running away.