Oh No, Market Forces Have More Impact Than AB-32 Ever Will.

Russ Steele

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?


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

6 Responses to Oh No, Market Forces Have More Impact Than AB-32 Ever Will.

  1. sean2829 says:

    Russ, you worry too much. They’ll build the natural gas plants to take care of the times the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Think of all the jobs created when you have to build 120% of the total capacity needed for wind and other renewables to make up for the intermittancy that only delivers about 25-30% of the nameplate capacity, assuming a renewable mandate of 30%. It’s too bad the backup generation that ramps up and down quickly is so inefficient.

  2. Arthur M. Day. says:

    Ummm. Wouldn’t it cheaper and greener to forego solar and wind and the for the state to make it easier for PGE to build combined cycle gas plants.

    • Yes it would, but here in California our political leaders do not use logic in the decision making process, they only use cronyism as base line model.

      • On the California CSPAN channel on Comcast they had yesterdays Senate business from the ornate chamber under the kiddie dome. I happened to stop there as I channel surfed for a baseball game. At that very moment (taped) was a democrat Senator holding his five year old on the Senate floor and introducing the child as his “page” and lamenting the child was leaving. I just thought to myself, “there is the reason the place is so screwed up”! It was always my suspicion the democrats were really usuing the kids! Now I saw it it was true!

  3. gjrebane says:

    You are guaranteed to err in predicting Sacramento’s policies if continue to think that they are forged to the benefit of California and its people.

  4. Arthur M. Day. says:

    I wonder how much of his page salary that 5 yr. old got for himself. Given what we know about greedy Devout Democrats, I feel sorry for the indigent page.

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