April 16 News: Reducing Carbon Emissions Through Silver Buckshot Is Messy, New Report Finds

Congratulations to InsideClimate News winning a Pulitzer for their coverage of the Enbridge pipeline spill in 2010. [Washington Post]

A report released yesterday said that the U.S. has reduced carbon emissions in recent years through a “messy but useful” combination of state renewable energy policies, national fuel efficiency standards, and energy innovation advances. [U.S. News and World Report]

Despite “political infighting” that has prevented comprehensive policies to fight global warming, the United States has made significant policy progress over the past decade to curb carbon emissions, according to a new report released Monday.

A series of “messy but useful” alternative energy incentives, carbon regulation and innovation — mostly at the state level — has reduced the country’s contribution to climate change, according to The Policy Climate, a comprehensive report on climate change policy in India, Europe, Brazil, China and the United States.

“There’s a lot of angst or worry that we’re not doing anything,” says David Nelson, of the San Francisco-based Climate Policy Initiative and author of the report. “But quite clearly what we’re doing has managed to stop the growth of emissions in a number of sectors.”

Over the past seven years, carbon emissions have fallen by 13 percent in the United States.

… a series of policy reforms focused on improving the economy, creating jobs and making the country less dependent on foreign oil have led to less carbon emissions overall. Tax credits for alternative energy sources, local antipollution laws, federal automobile fuel efficiency standards and new, more efficient energy technologies have led to a net overall positive.

Today, the EU voted down a proposal to tighten the supply of carbon allowances to bring prices back up to a more effective level. [AP]

Senators Shaheen and Portman should be re-introducing a bipartisan bill encouraging energy efficiency in industry, R&D, and new building codes. [The Hill]

Greenhouse gas emissions declined 1.6 percent from 2010 to 2011, mostly because of better automobile fuel efficiency, reduced coal consumption, and a mild winter. [LA Times]

Obsolete pipelines raise safety concerns of continued spills like the one that occurred in Mayflower, Arkansas. [Wall Street Journal]

China does not border the Arctic, but recently it has been paying attention to Iceland, which does. [Christian Science Monitor]

Environmentalists cut a hole in the ice at the North Pole and dropped the flag and a capsule with almost 3 million signatures asking for the region to be off-limits to exploitation, competing with the Russian flag placed there in 2007. [Reuters]

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will mark up a bill to authorize construction of the Keystone pipeline. [The Hill]

Another bill sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) would constrain EPA’s cost-benefit analysis and force it prioritize economic concerns over public health concerns. [National Journal]

Even if you don’t have panels on your roof, solar power could be reducing your electricity bill. [Solar Love]

Utilities are looking to reduce the credits they give to energy produced by rooftop solar, they say, to allow them to pay for infrastructure investments. [EarthTechling]

Now that the wind turbines and solar panels have been installed at the Philadelphia Eagles’ stadium, they supply 30 percent of the stadium’s total power usage. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

The amount of summer ice melting in Antarctica is the greatest seen in 1,000 years. [Huffington Post]

On Thursday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is expected to move Ernest Moniz’s nomination to the full Senate. [The Hill]

Allergy season has been particularly rough for Bay Area residents and people all over the country. [San Jose Mercury News]

Hares change fur color as the season changes to camouflage themselves, but climate change’s affect on seasons could threaten that protection. [Science]

4 Responses to April 16 News: Reducing Carbon Emissions Through Silver Buckshot Is Messy, New Report Finds

  1. Sasparilla says:

    From the LA Times article on the drop in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (wonder if that estimate includes the massive amount of methane flaring associated with oil shale production – probably not):

    “On Monday, the EPA confirmed that it had missed a deadline to pass a final rule to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants. The EPA did not provide an explanation for the delay.”

    The Obama administration accidentally on purpose fumbles the climate change ball again…

  2. It is good news for all of us that Inside Climate could win a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on Dilbit contamination and the problems with tar sands. It is well deserved.

    However we also need an Anti-Pulitzer for those who do the worst job of reporting on energy and climate. The rules would have to specify that they are actually trying to report, which would exclude WUWT as they are trying to confuse.

    Maybe we could nominate CNN and their (until his recent departure) business reporter, Ali Veshli, whose view of the most optimistic thing happening for the US Economy is the upswing in fossil fuel production from fracking… no, sorry, that was opinion, not reporting. Still, I would wonder if his attitude will change as Veshli moves to Al-Jazeera English.

  3. David B. Benson says:

    By accounting for the carbon dioxide produced by the mining and manufacture of goods imported to the USA as part of the USA total: USA carbon dioxide net production is up about 10% so far this century.

    See Monbiot’s latest.

  4. David B. Benson says:

    Not the latest anymore. It is entitled “The Great Unmentionable”.