U.S. makes strides in reducing emissions
On the eve of the release of a landmark climate-change report, U.S. officials said on Thursday that the nation is making progress in cutting its heat-trapping greenhouse-gas emissions but still has “more work to do.”
Average emissions were lower from 2009-11 than in any three-year period since 1994-96 and are on the way to meeting President Obama's pledge to cut them 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, according to a State Department report to the United Nations.
“The United States has already made significant progress, including doubling generation of electricity from wind and solar power and establishing historic new fuel efficiency standards,” the report says.
The report, though, makes the case for additional steps, such as cutting emissions from power plants. It says total emissions in 2020 — based on measures in place as of September 2012 — will be 4.6 percent below 2005 levels.
The estimate, however, falls far short of Obama's pledge.
The report comes as the U.N.-created Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change prepares to release a draft Friday in Sweden of the latest assessment of the science on climate change and its impacts. Based on research by hundreds of the world's top climate scientists, the panel is expected to say with heightened certainty that humans are responsible for the planet's rising temperatures and that surface temperatures are not the only indicators of climate change.
The Environmental Protection Agency released an updated proposal last week that for the first time would set limits on emissions from new coal and natural gas plants. It aims to finalize the rule and propose a new limit for existing plants in 2014. New coal-fired power plants would not be able to meet the standard without costly technology to capture and store carbon emissions.
The coal industry and some Republicans on Capitol Hill object to EPA's proposed standard as job-killing. It's “effectively a ban” on new coal plants, says Jeffrey Holmstead, a former senior EPA official under President George W. Bush.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Prospective juror in Tsarnaev trial cites sympathy for suspect in Boston Marathon bombing
- Judge expresses doubt about constitutionality of no-fly list
- NASA satellite to track water in soil
- Internet rules in line for big shift
- Goats offered as alternative for clearing area of plutonium
- Woman gives birth to baby boy on side of Utah highway
- Big Bang ‘waves’ go poof under analysis
- ‘Drink of the Devil’ unites formerly feuding families
- Accused Kennedy killer’s casket must go to brother, judge rules
- Deportation relief applications for illegal immigrants available soon
- Ohio delays all 2015 executions