It turns out that the US is one of the few industrialized nations to meet the terms of the Kyoto protocols (reduce CO2 emissions to 1997 levels) despite the fact we never signed it or did anything to try to meet the goals.

Thank the recession and probably more importantly the natural gas and fracking revolution.  Fracking will do more to reduce CO2 than the entire sum of government and renewable energy projects (since a BTU from natural gas produces about half the CO2 as a BTU form coal).  Of course, environmentalists oppose fracking.  They would rather carpet the desert with taxpayer-funded solar panels and windmills than allow the private sector to solve the problem using 50-year-old technology.


  1. marque2:

    Something else interesting. The rate at which we extract oil has been growing exponentially for at least two years now, even with levelling off (just assume we increase at constant rate), we will have NAFTA energy independence by sometime around October 2015. That means we will not be importing from anyone but Canada and Mexico by that time.
    For all presidents since Nixon preaching about oil independence, and using government funds to try to do it, it took private industry to actually make it achievable. Of all the presidents only Bush Jr by increasing the amout of oil actions did anything to increase our oil output much. And this increase is happening despite Obama, cutting Gulf drilling by 2/3rds stopping drilling exploration in Alaska and the East coast, and stopping auctions on federal lands.

    Note too, full Energy independence is in our reach by January 2018 if we go from exponential increase to constant increase.

    If we keep increasing exponential for a few more years though OMG. And there is evidence we might be able to exploit the Permian Basin in Northwest Texase a site now now near Odessa Texas, and exploratory work on the Monterey shale in CA just starting.

  2. Douglas2:

    We had essentially zero increase in CO2 output from the elections of 2000 to the 2008 crash, in spite of an economy that was expanding at a rate we now can only reminisce about.

    I suspect that a lot of the reduction was the rush away from coal in favor of gas that was ramping up for years before we heard much about "fracking" in the popular press. But I also suspect that the continuation of Clinton’s Climate Change Action Program (if you inprove your efficiency we'll give you good press, and we'll give you free technical assistance to help you improve) and Bush's voluntary early-reduction credits and research funding also accounted for some portion of the reduction.

  3. Douglas2:

    Off topic, but I suspect we will get to zero net imports to the NAFTA zone but will still have lots of foreign tankers at our ports.

    That Canadian oil is going to Asia, since we haven't a pipeline to get the bulk of it to Texas where it can be refined. And Texas refineries are one of the rare places where Venezuelan oil can be refined. Etc.

  4. herdgadfly:

    We have to get off this CO2 kick. There simply is no evidential proof of any correlation between rises in CO2 and global temperatures. But there is a clear correlation between sun spot activity and our temperatures.

    Last year, world governments spent $359 billion on global warming activities and none of that had to do with fracking or natural gas. lets stop the BS and put the worlds' economic crises to sleep.

  5. Craig Howard:

    Let's not forget the Obama Great Recession, either. 9 million fewer people are working.

    It's all hoo-hah, anyway. No one can really measure this stuff, but in the interest of playing along, thought I'd add that.

  6. ganganelli:

    As the seemingly only lefty on this blog, I'm glad to agree on this issue. My side will be up in arms if the President offers any compromise on entitlements, but they'll gladly make the poor pay more for energy in their misguided attempt to stop fracking.

  7. marque2:

    Yes I agree it is a bit off topic - and I said so.

    Yes oil will still get moved around but when you consider the net inflows and outflows they will he zero or.less.

    As for the CO2 post. It is really old news.

  8. marque2:

    One of the sadly funny things, is back in 2003 when the eco-nuts thought we were about to run out of natural gas - they bemoaned the loss of natural gas. It is so clean they said. If only we could run it in all our cars they said. So sad, so sad.
    Now though that Natural gas is plentiful - even though NG produces 1/3 to 1/2 the CO2 when burnt they are all against it. And they have found dubious ways to claim it is worse than coal. The methane leaks out and will stay 1000 years in our atmosphere and cause the seas to boil worse they say. Or they make up stuff about environmental damage due to this brand new (50 year old) technology called fracking.
    It seems to me that eco-nuts really don't like humanity, it is not about cleaner energy - it is about making it difficult for people to live, so we end up with fewer people.

  9. Bram:

    It's now 10.1 million people who have exited the workforce. All those people not driving to work, not producing anything, etc...

  10. Joe_Da:

    fracturing is from the 1930's, much improved since then, though its closer to 80 year old technology.

    Demonstrating the Greenies obsession with fracturing - they fail to notice 1) both the risk of environmental damage and the level of damage from polluted aquifers from the fracturing fluids is minisuscule compared to other potential and more likely events in the oil and gas extraction process, 2) the risk of environmental damage is significantly less with one fractured well than 3 non fractured wells that will produce approximately the same quantity of oil and gas and 3) the reason that you havent heard of many fracturing accidents is because there arent many fracturing accidents.

  11. irandom419:

    What is funny, is that I heard we are a net carbon sink. That is if you count everything that is planted by the US in other countries.

  12. Sam L.:

    Those guys just looooooove their blinders. They shall not be distracted, nor deviate from their chosen path.