Feb. 17. In his State of the Union, the president said the U.S. had cut carbon emissions “over the last eight years” more than any other country in the world. Carbon emissions for 2004-2012 fell from 5.853 billion metric tons to 5.490 billion metric tons. We were on the right track! Or were we?
In 2013 U.S. carbon pollution went up, by 2%. The Washington Post got this from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The reason the Washington Post said was because the “shale fracking boom had pushed natural gas prices to unsustainably low levels.” Prices of natural gas went up a lot and many companies switched back to coal.
How could they go back to coal? Well, electric power companies can just throw their most dangerous garbage (carbon dioxide) into the air when they burn it and never have to pay to clean it up. There is no nation carbon tax so why not go back to coal? All that matters is profit, right? Climate worries are for sissies.
Now here’s an interesting tidbid from the same Washington Post article. “The EIA is only counting carbon-dioxide emissions from energy sources like coal, natural gas, and oil. This makes up about 84 percent of all of America’s greenhouse-gas emissions. But it leaves out other potent, heat-trapping gases like methane, which can leak out of natural gas operations, landfills, and farms.”
So we don’t even know if they Obama claim about 2004-2012 was true.
Speaking of methane the New York Times had an article saying that the signs on all the buses saying highlighting that they run on “clean natural gas” may be misleading. Oh, they run on natural gas alright. It’s the “clean” part that’s the problem. Burning natural gas produces 30% less carbon dioxide. However, new studies show that production and/or storage methods for natural gas are spewing out methane into the air. Methane is 30 times worse than carbon dioxide. That’s 3,000% worse!
The Post said scientists have discovered that there’s 50% more methane in the atmosphere than the EPA had estimated. Natural gas production is the culprit.
So instead of being Obama’s “bridge” to clean energy, natural gas may just be another pit.