The Energy Information Administration has released its flash estimate for 2008 energy-related CO2 emissions here.  Factors that contributed to the 2.8% decline in CO2 (and a 2.2% drop in total energy use) include:

Energy prices

  • In 2008, gasoline and diesel prices were at their all-time peak level
  • Near the end of the year, despite lower energy prices, gasoline and diesel demand was dampened by a drop in consumer income

Lower economic growth

  • In 2008, GDP growth was a modest 1.1 percent
  • In the 4th quarter, GDP fell at an annual rate of 6.3 percent

I suppose this is one of the few “benefits” of the failed energy policies of conservatives, which led to soaring energy prices, and of the failed economic policies of conservatives, which led to the biggest recession since the Great Depression, and of the general lack of any strategy to restore American competitiveness, which led to a tremendous outsourcing of US jobs and manufacturing and emissions to China — see “U.S. carbon dioxide emissions growth during Bush years 300% higher than official estimates.”

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And all of this conservative stagnation has set the stage for progressive action that will ensure peak U.S. CO2 are behind us forever (see “I predict U.S. carbon dioxide emissions peaked in 2007!“).

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