Given that the Republicans in power are clearly willing to go to the mat to make sure we make no further strides towards improving the environment, this is good news: Even if the government takes no further action to regulate greenhouse gases, our emissions will grow much more slowly than predicted in coming years.

In 2006, the Energy Information Administration projected that carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions would rise 37 percent by 2030. But a new EIA report now says that, even in the absence of further regulation, there will only be a negligible increase by then. The report says emissions won't return to peak 2005 levels until 2027, and will rise another 5 percent in the seven years after that. And the per capita emissions will actually go down, because the population will be increasing during that time period. Natural gas production gets some of the credit, which is a mixed blessing at best, given the costs of fracking. But improved energy efficiency, reduced demand, and a focus on renewables have also helped slow the destruction.

With regulation, who knows? It could be even better. But even if Republicans get their way, it looks like we're not on track to annihilate ourselves quite as quickly as previously expected.

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