Here’s what EPA features as “News” on its Web site today:
- EPA Releases Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data from Large Facilities
- Final Cleanup Plan for NJ Superfund Site
- CA Wastewater Treatment Plant will Produce 100% Renewable Energy
- Economics of Climate Change Speech
- Great Lakes Restoration Plan
None of those items is a national headline grabber. EPA has bigger story to tell but you’ve got to use the agency’s search engine to find it.
This week EPA updated its annual Air Quality Trends, and the news is fanastic. “National average air quality continues to improve as emissions decline through 2013,” EPA reports.
EPA provides several charts illustrating the nation’s ongoing progress in cleaning the air. Here’s the first graphic:
The figure shows that between 1980 and 2013, gross domestic product increased 145%, vehicle miles traveled increased 95%, energy consumption increased 25%, and U.S. population increased 39%. Yet during the same period, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants decreased by 62%. Impressive.
“The graph also shows that between 1980 and 2012, CO2 emissions increased by 14 percent,” EPA adds. Well, to me, it’s all good news. Air pollution emissions are increasingly decoupled not only from GDP, VMT, energy consumption, and population, but from CO2 emissions as well.
In other words, CO2 emissions are positively correlated with increases in wealth, mobility, super-human power at the beck and call of ordinary mortals (i.e. energy consumption), and air quality improvement. Those who argue or insinuate that we need a carbon tax or CO2 regulation to clean the air don’t know what they are talking about.
Let’s look at other EPA charts on America’s improving air quality. [click to continue…]