Oh No, Market Forces Have More Impact Than AB-32 Ever Will.
08/16/2012 6 Comments
This article in The Union has the story not behind a paywall this time.
PITTSBURGH — In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.
Many of the world’s leading climate scientists didn’t see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere
So, why is the State of California promoting renewables over conversion to natural gas? Why is the Governor not exploiting the shale gas fields at the southern end of the Central Valley? Why is the state not building more natural gas power plants? Natural gas generations has proven to be more effective in reducing CO2 emissions than renewables.
There is a hidden factor in these numbers, the economy has been in the tank since 2009 and could have been a factor in the reduction of CO2. There is a direct correlation between power consumption and economic growth. Our economic growth has declined as has CO2 emissions. The questions is how much of the decline was reflected in reduced CO2 emissions?