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US government fails on climate change

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Issue date: 
July 26, 2010
Publisher Name: 
Jeremy Hance
Author e-Mail: 
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Not even intense international pressure, the BP oil spill, worsening floods, or the fact that the last six months have been the warmest on record globally was enough to push US climate legislation through the Senate. In the end the legislation died without a single Republican supporting it and a number of Democrats balking. Democratic Senate leader, Harry Reid, said they would continue to push climate legislation in the fall, but analysts say success then is unlikely given up-coming elections in November.

Until recently the US was the number one emitter greenhouse emissions worldwide: today it is China with the US coming in second. In 2007, carbon emission in the US rose to 5,838 million metric tons, nearly 20 percent of the global total, yet the US population represents approximately 4.5 percent of the world total.

US consumption of oil, however, remains the highest in the world: in 2007 the US consumed 20,680,000 barrels (868,500,000 gallons) of oil every day, or approximately 7.5 billion barrels (or 337.5 billon gallons) of during the full year.

Climate change legislation has long faced a difficult road in the US given some measure of public skepticism, most Republicans unwilling to consider greenhouse gas regulations, and corporate lobbying from fossil fuel industries.

Power to deal with greenhouse gas emissions now moves to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act, but it remains to be seen how aggressive the EPA will be toward lowering the US's emissions.



Extpub | by Dr. Radut