On Monday, EPA Administrator Dave Johnson announced that US greenhouse gas emissions grew by only 1% in 2005.
"The Bush administration's unparalleled financial, international and domestic commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is delivering real results," Johnson proclaimed in a statement.
Back in the real world, calling a growth in greenhouse gases a climate change victory is a bit like shooting a hockey puck into your own goal. More to the point, Mr. Johnson's counterparts in other US government departments had a more sober perspective on the situation. The people responsible for tracking US energy usage credit 2005's slower rise in greenhouse emissions to market factors and oil supply disruptions along the storm battered Gulf Coast - storms that may well grow more frequent, as global temperatures rise.
The slow growth in emissions from 2004 to 2005 can be attributed mainly to higher energy prices that suppressed demand, low or negative growth in several energy-intensive industries, and weather-related disruptions in the energy infrastructure along the Gulf Coast. As a result, while the economy grew by 3.2 percent, energy consumption fell by 0.3 percent.
More perspective on the US emissions can be found in the graph below: