U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Remain Below 2000 Levels

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Remain Below 2000 Levels
January 24, 2012

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions remain below 2000 levels and are likely to remain so until at least the year 2030, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s just-released preview of its Annual Energy Outlook 2012.

The EIA annual report provides further evidence that EPA’s economy-killing restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions are completely unnecessary, even if global warming were a serious problem. Halting global emissions at year 2000 levels would certainly avert the scary scenarios frequently asserted by environmental activist groups and the media. The United States has done so. The rest of the world has not. China, which emits more carbon dioxide by far than any other nation, has more than doubled its carbon dioxide emissions since 2000 and is likely to continue its steep emissions rise for the foreseeable future.

China emits more carbon dioxide than the entire Western Hemisphere. If the U.S., beyond merely freezing the level of its emissions, fully eliminated all carbon dioxide emissions today, the mere growth in Chinese emissions over the next 10 years would more than compensate for the complete elimination of U.S. emissions. China, moreover, has repeatedly and emphatically stated that it will not accept limits on its emissions regardless of what the United States and other nations do.

The global warming debate, at least as far as the asserted need for the United States to impose dramatic, economy-killing carbon dioxide restrictions, has been rendered moot.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)