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Bush policies cause U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to soar in 2007

By Joe Romm  

"Bush policies cause U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to soar in 2007"

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The year of living stupidly is over. No longer must we put up with the nonsense that Bush’s policies are anything but an outright catastrophe for greenhouse gas emissions and future generations.

eia1.gifThe EIA reported yesterday:

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels increased by 1.6 percent in 2007…. Factors that drove the emissions increase included … a higher carbon intensity of electricity supply.

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.

Okay, he didn’t release that statement, but he should have, given that after EIA revealed the temporary dip last year, 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 carbon dioxide emissions growth haven’t been even faster under Bush is that he’s had two economic slowdowns, 9/11 (which severely depressed air travel), 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% higher [I discussed this point in my book, but haven't yet blogged on it, an omission I will remedy shortly].

For a year we have been putting up with nonsense from the administration and conservative groups about Bush’s successful climate policy compared to the rest of the world. In September, the President actually said “Do you realize that the United States is the only major industrialized nation that cut greenhouse gases last year?

Everybody knew it was a confluence of unique factors that had nothing to do with Bush policy — “higher gasoline prices, a sharp drop in heating demand from an unusually warm winter, which helped bring about a decline in natural gas prices (and hence more use of this clean fuel for electricity generation).” Nobody who advanced the nonsensical claim that Bush’s policies had something to do with the 2006 emissions drop took up my bet on 2007 emissions,

$100 for every 0.1% emissions drop this year against $100 for every 0.1% rise this year.

Too bad. I could have used the $1600. I can’t really make the same offer again for 2008 because Bush’s energy and economic policies have driven the economy into the ground, while allowing gasoline prices (and the trade deficit with China) to continue to soar, so my guess is U.S. emissions will rise only slightly, if at all, this year.

Now that the year of living stupidly is over, perhaps we can get back to the serious business of adopting climate policies that actually do reduce emissions year after year.

You can get all of the details on 2007 U.S. emissions from EIA here.

‹ No-till farming does NOT save carbon and is NOT a carbon offset

The Strange Case of Dr. Pielke and Mr. Hidebound on delaying climate action ›

8 Responses to Bush policies cause U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to soar in 2007

  1. Robert says:

    Nice job in 2006 though.

  2. David says:

    Of course it doesn’t even compare to the 3.5% increase in 1996 or the 3% increase in 2000. Hmm, who was president then?

  3. Peter Foley says:

    How much of the increase in in CO2 emissions was caused by negative global warming. Just what was the average heating degree days in the US during 2007? NOT ALL STATS ARE PROOF OF YOUR RELIGION. What is the GNP over CO2 stat, how does it compare with China? Or why doesn’t the PPMs of CO2 follow the emissions directly?

    This inane carbon based delusional dystopia you are trying to create is starting to actually concern me.

    Just what was the increase average when Joe’s administration was in office?
    43 might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but in every metric he’s outperformed his predessor in reducing the rate of increase in emmisions of the CO2.

  4. John Thacker says:

    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% higher.

    OK. So? Care to explain how different US policies to reduce CO2 emissions would do anything other than push manufacturing to China more quickly?

    while allowing gasoline prices (and the trade deficit with China) to continue to soar, so my guess is U.S. emissions will rise only slightly, if at all, this year.

    But don’t you want gasoline prices to soar? I don’t see any way to reduce US CO2 emissions without increasing gasoline prices. US gasoline prices are far below the rest of the developed world.

  5. Lamont says:

    This is the rate of increase of carbon emissions in the US. It isn’t the world-wide rate of increase of carbon emissions. It is also the rate of change of emissions. The 1% annual growth is a 1% compounding exponential growth rate of CO2 emissions.

    And the whole point is that Bush got lucky in 2001 and 2006. Clinton managed to work the US economy through a mid-cycle slowdown and produce an unparalleled growth and 10 years between recessions — back before we cared as much about GHGs and climate change (global warming didn’t get much press before 1998), so historically Clinton got “unlucky”.

    Also the average emissions per year for Dubyuh was 5894 million metric tons while under Clinton it was 5486 million metric tons.

    And economic progress is good for the economy, bad for emissions (at least currently there’s a link when all our energy inputs to our economy involve carbon emissions), while poor economic performance is good for emissions. So what does that tell you about Bush’s economic policies?

    Plus when we buy goods at Wal-Mart that were made in china we are importing goods and exporting carbon emissions. That carbon got burned in order to make our cheap goods.

  6. Finnjor says:

    Funny chaps there. The greatest nation of the world?

    What are they meaning? Must you obey even idiots, where is your democracy? You voted them to destroy us all?

  7. Peter Foley says:

    Just how is the US destroying the rest of the world, 1.Saved France & G. Britain 1918, repeated it in 1945, saved SE Asia from Japan 1945, and Saved Japan, Saved south Korea from generations of suffering. Saved S. Vietnam for 14 years. pretty much invented the only 24/7 non carbon power- Nuke Energy, Helped keep the towel heads out of Israel, Freed the Philippines Islands–a slight stretch, freed the panama canal zone, freed Kuwait 1991, freed the Iraqis 2002, only the Former Soviet Union arguably has freed more people recently, and they are trying to unfree them.
    I’m embarrassed we didn’t support Finland against the USSR in 1940.

    Finnjor, Why don’t you and yours step up and take away some of the responsibility your country’s failures to act has created.

    I don’t think of the USA as the greatest nation in the world, just the least bad. I am trying to improve it. What are you doing to fix your little experiment in government?–Letting the fools in Brussels take away even more of your rights with the new constitution?

    Keep poking a bear/Eagle and you’ll end up as bear/eagle feces.

    Every year the rest worlds grows faster then the US the share of the phony guilt that can be assigned to the US for actually having a rational economy that works is lessening. The US haters need to find a new characteristic of the USA to hate. It isn’t our fault you have allowed your governments to mismanage your economies for decades.

  8. Wise Golden says:

    The graph that you place in your article shows that GWB has been very effective at holding down CO2. Look at the 7 years of his Presidency vrs. the prior 8. GWB has a net increase of 2.5% over his 7 years. Clinton (with Gore as VP,) had an increase in every year, totaling 14%.

    2.5% vrs. 14%…that isn’t too shabby considering the growth of the economy has been over 25% in that time frame.

    Now I understand that you would like to see the numbers going the other direction – so would I. But given an expansion of 25% in the economy, a CO2 increase of 2.5% seems rather heroic. I would expect better years will follow as this issue has grown in importance to many Americans, including Republicans.