Efficiency Drove US Emissions Decline in 2012

Efficiency Drove US Emissions Decline in 2012, not natural gas says a recent study, reports Maria Gallucci at InsideClimate News. 2012 US emissions fell 4 percent from 2011 due to aggressive energy efficiency efforts by households, businesses, and motorists – not switching from coal to natural gas.  CO2 Scorecard Group, the environmental research organization that produced the report, says that nearly half the decline came from energy-saving measures such as retrofits and smarter appliances in homes and offices, and from Americans driving fewer miles, and using more fuel-efficient vehicles. Natural gas is responsible for only about one-quarter of last year’s emissions drop, Scorecard asserts. It supplied nearly one-third of US electricity last year, up from 16 percent in 2000, while coal-fired electricity declined simultaneously, from half to about 36 percent. Natural gas, which is primarily methane, produces about half the CO2 of coal when combusted. But leakage of methane—a more powerful, though shorter-lived greenhouse gas — during production and distribution cancels out some of those gains. (To what extent isn’t clear.) On average, electricity from natural gas is many times more carbon-intensive per unit than wind or solar.

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte


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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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