- The Washington Times - Friday, September 26, 2014

President Barack Obama pledged this week to lead the world in the fight against climate change. But his much ballyhooed speech at the United Nations this week skipped past a troubling fact back home: Carbon emissions are rising again in the United States.

Despite his aggressive clean energy agenda and substantial government investment in renewable energy and electric vehicles, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are set to rise for the third time in five years under Mr. Obama after a period of steady decline.

The Energy Information Administration put out a little-noticed report this month in the shadows of Mr. Obama’s U.N. speech that disclosed that carbon emissions from fossil fuels jumped 2.4 percent in 2013 and are on track to grow another 1.3 percent this year.


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Those would be the first two increases since 2010, when carbon emissions jumped as the economy roared back to life after the recession.

In general, carbon emissions have been on a steady decline since the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency. But two consecutive years of carbon emissions increases is going to make it harder — at least optically — for Mr. Obama to crow about his climate record.



It also is a reminder that other factors — like weather and economic growth — can sometimes trump a president’s rhetoric.

There could be a light at the end of the tunnel though. EIA’s report suggests 2015 could see a miniscule 0.6 percent decrease in carbon.

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