April 23, 2014

JUST A FETISH:

Keystone Pipeline May Be Big, but This Is Bigger (CORAL DAVENPORT, APRIL 21, 2014, NY Times)

Experts say that Mr. Obama's eventual decision on the pipeline will have a marginal impact on global warming emissions, while those dull-sounding E.P.A. rules and treaty talks will determine his enviromental legacy.

Consider the numbers: In 2011, the most recent year for which comprehensive international data is available, the global economy emitted 32.6 billion metric tons of carbon pollution. The United States was responsible for 5.5 billion tons of that (coming in second to China, which emitted 8.7 billion tons). Within the United States, electric power plants produced 2.8 billion tons of those greenhouse gases, while vehicle tailpipe emissions from burning gasoline produced 1.9 billion tons.

By comparison, the oil that would move through the Keystone pipeline would add 18.7 million metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere annually, the E.P.A. estimated. In other words, the carbon emissions produced by oil that would be moved in the Keystone pipeline would amount to less than 1 percent of United States greenhouse gas emissions, and an infinitesimal slice of the global total.

Within that context, "the Keystone pipeline is a rounding error," said Kevin Book, the founder of ClearView Energy Partners, an energy analysis firm.

Posted by at April 23, 2014 4:53 PM
  

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