OK, this isn’t entirely news to readers (see here). But the Energy Information Administration’s just released final report [PDF] covers pretty much everything a climate junkie could possibly want to know about U.S. GHG emissions in 2007. The bottom line:
Total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 were 1.4 percent above the 2006 total … An increase in the carbon intensity of electricity generation … contributed to higher energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2007.
President Bush immediately released a statement:
We are effectively contributing to the problem of global climate change through flawed energy policy, obstructionist domestic and international climate policy, and general disinformation.
OK, he didn’t release that statement, but he should have, given that after EIA revealed the temporary dip in 2006, he claimed:
We are effectively confronting the important challenge of global climate change through regulations, public-private partnerships, incentives, and strong economic investment.
Bush is so funny it hurts.
As an important aside, the main reason emissions growth hasn’t been even faster under Bush is that he’s had two economic slowdowns, 9/11 (which severely depressed air travel), record fossil-fuel prices for much of his term, and a rapidly growing trade deficit with China. Had we manufactured in this country everything we actually consumed over the past seven years, the rate of growth of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions would have been about 50 percent higher.
That is quite a record of economic/energy failure masquerading as an emissions reduction strategy. For most of last year we had to put up with nonsense from delayers about Bush’s successful climate policy compared to the rest of the world. In September 2007, the President actually said:
Do you realize that the United States is the only major industrialized nation that cut greenhouse gases last year?
So how much have emissions risen under Bush? Here is the chart from the EIA report (click to enlarge):
Baselines are, of course, everything in doing these calculations. It certainly makes no sense to use a 2000 baseline, since one can’t possibly ascribe any impact from Bush’s “climate policies” in the year 2001 itself. Using a 2001 baseline isn’t entirely fair because of the recession and 9/11. But who said life was fair?
Bush has overseen a rise in greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 5 percent from 2001 to 2007, a roughly 0.8 percent increase per year. Coincidentally, the average annual increase in U.S. GHGs since 1990 is 0.9 percent.
I know what you’re thinking.
Are Life On Mars and Fringe and Heroes veering off into Lost territory? Wait a minute, unfair editor, you can’t really judge Bush until you have the emissions data from the year he leaves office, and surely 2008 will see a drop in GHGs and surely 2009 will see little if any growth, so Bush’s overall numbers will drop considerably.
To which I would reply, stop calling me Shirley, and yes, those climate alarmists in the Bush administration have figured one sure-fire way to temporarily reduce emissions growth — destroy the global economy.
Now let’s see what (hopefully) eight years of progressive government can do to transition to sustainable growth.
UPDATE: The Center for Public Integrity’s Paper Trail blog has a good post on this report: “U.S. Greenhouse Gases go Up, Bush Talking Point Goes Down.”