Catching a Break: Carbon Emissions and U.S. Power Plants

Carbon footprintLast post I posed the mostly rhetorical question of whether we could ever catch a break in all the troubling news we hear about climate change.

Sorry, but not today.

The Environmental News Service reports that carbon emissions from U.S. power plants made its biggest single-year leap in 2006, rising 2.9% over 2006 levels – or 5.9% from 2002 and a full 11.7% over 1997.

As we try to come to terms with limiting carbon emissions by as much as 80% of 1990 levels by the year 2050, we keep pumping more of it into the atmosphere at an accelerating rate. By the time we do come around to actively limiting emissions, we’ll have to rethink that target.

Procrastination on this issue will not be a luxury the next president – or any of us – can afford.

Incidentally, the state with the highest level of carbon emissions?


I’m just sayin…



Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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