The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Now the bad news: The media has fallen hard for the political game between Democrats and Republicans recently regarding the climate and energy bill; Is Republican Senator Graham in or out as a co-sponsor of the bill developed by Senators Kerry, Lieberman and Graham? Will immigration be tackled before energy or not? Will climate and energy legislation include more off-shore drilling? Rather than continue to get bogged down in politics, it is time to muster the courage to do whatever is necessary to put a price on carbon. We do have good news however.

The Good News

(The New Republic Photo)

And finally the good news: The Energy Information Administration released its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) last week with a shocking prediction for near-term carbon dioxide emissions:

Projected carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels fall by 6.0 percent in 2009 because of the weak economic conditions and declines in the consumption of most fossil fuels (U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Growth Chart).  Coal leads the drop in 2009 CO2 emissions, falling by nearly 10 percent because of fuel switching from coal to natural gas in the electric power sector.  The projected recovery in the economy contributes to an expected 0.9-percent increase in CO2 emissions in 2010.”

The combination of a weak economy, low natural gas prices, state renewable energy standards, and a clean-energy-friendly stimulus results in significant reduction of CO2 emissions; these preliminary calculations suggest that the 2020 target of 17% below 2005 will be halfway met at the end of 2009!

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