“CO2 emissions plummet,” an Associated Press story published in Friday’s CDT, is exaggerated and fails to accurately portray the bigger picture.
The actual decrease in carbon dioxide reported by the Energy Information Administration is 8 percent relative to last year. Hardly cause for use of the word plummet.
The article also gives all of the credit for this decrease to power plants switching from coal to natural gas. But the EIA report states this: “However, such emissions during the first quarter in 2012 were low due to a combination of the warm winter that reduced heating demand, a sharp decline in the amount of total electricity generated from burning coal, and lower gasoline use.”
Furthermore, using and producing more natural gas spills more methane into the atmosphere, and methane has 105 times more global warming potential than CO2.
The Environmental Protection Agency concluded that: “The assertion that global warming could be reduced by replacing coal and oil fuels with natural gas could not be defended.”
There are other environmental and health benefits to switching from coal to natural gas, but limiting the climate change from our energy use means eliminating fossil fuels through efficiency, conservation and use of renewable energy.
Andrew Lau State College