U.S. Emissions Up 4 Percent in 2010
Photo via LimJunYing
I guess we're not quite yet at "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." Those were President Obama's infamous words upon his inauguration, but, in fact, just released number show that despite a soft economic comeback US emissions went up nearly 4 percent in 2010.
In total, emissions from gas, oil and coal, which account for 80 percent of US greenhouse gas pollution, went up 213 million tonnes, or 3.9 percent. The world's best scientists say that we must peak emission by 2015 and then steeply reduce our pollution if we are going to prevent climate chaos.
The Energy Information Agency said in an annual report: "In 2010 manufacturing industries showed a strong recovery from the 2008-9 recession and energy-intensive manufacturing experienced high growth as well."
President Obama's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions about 17 percent by 2020 from the 2005 levels seems to be now out of reach, although a combination of coming EPA regulations on coal plants combined with new CAFE standards for cars and trucks could make a dent in the country's emissions portfolio.
However, if Obama fails to be re-elected, there stands a great chance that the EPA could be harmed by draconian budget cuts, or eliminated altogether if some presidential candidates, such as Michelle Bachman, get their way.