U.S. carbon dioxide emissions dropped 1.3% in 2006, as the Energy Information Administration reported yesterday.

bush-dumb.jpgPresident Bush immediately took credit:

"We are effectively confronting the important challenge of global climate change through regulations, public-private partnerships, incentives, and strong economic investment."

[Please, no laughing.]

In spite of the fact that Bush has actually gutted programs aimed at the promoting clean energy technologies, last year’s emissions dropped because of:

  1. higher gasoline prices,
  2. a sharp drop in heating demand from an unusually warm winter, which helped bring about
  3. a decline in natural gas prices (and hence more use of this clean fuel for electricity generation).

Hmm. An unusually warm winter — wonder what caused that. And high gasoline prices — maybe the president does deserve credit after all.

Planet Gore chimes in that this means "we can indeed reduce our greenhouse gas emissions intensity (the amount of greenhouse gases emitted per dollar of economic output) at a rate that exceeds our economic growth rate." Well, yes, but contrary to PG’s implied support of Bush’s do-nothing climate policy, this fact argues for greenhouse gas standards and major clean technology investment — so we don’t have to rely on random fortuitous factors to get our emissions reductions to coincide with economic growth.

(If PG thinks Bush’s policies are the cause of the drop, then then should be happy to take a wager on 2007 emissions. I’ll give them $100 for every 0.1% emissions drop this year if they’ll give me $100 for every 0.1% rise this year.)

This post was created for ClimateProgress.org, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.