[LINK] O/t Greenhouse Gases

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sat Feb 19 22:03:00 AEDT 2011

United States Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fell in 2009

By JOHN M. BRODER  Published: February 16, 2011 (snipped)

WASHINGTON — Greenhouse gas emissions in the US declined in 2009 for the 
second consecutive year .. the federal government reported on Wednesday. 

The U.S. is the second-largest source of greenhouse gases, after China. 

Emissions of carbon dioxide and other climate-altering gases fell 6 
percent in 2009, and were at their lowest level since 1995, according to 
the Environmental Protection Agency which produces the annual inventory 
of emissions. 

The agency attributed the decline to the economic slowdown, and a shift 
from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas to produce electricity.

Even as the American population has grown, emissions per capita have 
fallen since 1990, and the rate of emissions relative to the size of the 
economy — sometimes known as carbon intensity — has dropped even more 

Total emissions of greenhouse gases were 5.5 billion metric tons in 2009, 
down from 5.92 billion in 2008 and 6.12 billion in 2007, the last pre-
recession year.

Greenhouse gas emissions declined most heavily in the industrial and 
transportation sectors in 2008 and 2009, while there was virtually no 
year-to-year change in emissions from commercial and residential 
buildings and from agriculture. 

The trend, while reflecting the weak economy, is in part encouraging news 
to President Obama. 

President Obama has pledged to the United Nations to reduce greenhouse 
gas emissions in the United States by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020

The figures released on Wednesday indicated that the country was more 
than halfway to that goal. 

But as the economy recovers, the country will have to take steps to 
continue the decline of emissions, including switching to cleaner fuels, 
increasing production of renewable energy, making transportation more 
efficient and reducing emissions from power plants, refineries and 

(A version of this article appeared in The New York Times print edition 
on February 17, 2011, on page A23 of the New York edition.)



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