WRI Report: "Can The U.S. Get There From Here?"

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A report on how the Obama administration can use existing laws to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, from the World Resources Institute, a Washington think tank.

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WRI Report: "Can The U.S. Get There From Here?"

  1. 1. Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers 1WR I Report POLICYMAKERSSUMMARY FOR Can The U.S. Get There From Here? Using Existing Federal Laws and State Action to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions NICHOLAS M. BIANCO FRANZ T. LITZ KRISTIN IGUSKY MEEK REBECCA GASPER
  2. 2. About the AuthorsNicholas Bianco leads WRI’s efforts with U.S. states Franz Litz is the Executive Director of the Pace Energyand U.S. federal agencies as they work together and & Climate Center, a legal and policy think tank, andin parallel to develop programs to reduce greenhouse Professor of Energy and Climate Change Law in Pacegas emissions. His areas of research include the role of Law School’s top-ranked environmental law program.states in future federal climate programs; the regulation Franz leads his Center’s work at the state, regional,of greenhouse gas emissions via existing regulatory national, and international levels on climate change,authorities; market-based pollution control programs; energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation,and stacking of payments for ecosystem services (e.g., and community energy. Franz is an expert on thegreenhouse gas offsets). Nicholas previously worked federal Clean Air Act, state-level climate and energywith the Massachusetts Department of Environmental policies, and emissions trading. Franz actively convenesProtection on climate change and air quality programs. officials from U.S. states and Canadian provincesWhile there, he worked on several market-based air cooperating on energy and climate change policyquality and climate change programs, including the issues. He also frequently brings stakeholders fromRegional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional diverse viewpoints together to engage policy makerscarbon dioxide cap-and-trade program for the power on difficult energy and climate policy issues. Beforesector. Contact: nbianco@wri.org. assuming his leadership role at the Pace Energy & Climate Center in 2011, Franz was a senior fellow at theKristin Meek is an Associate in the Climate and Energy World Resources Institute in Washington, DC. He ledProgram at the World Resources Institute. She supports WRI’s state and regional climate change initiatives, asWRI’s efforts with U.S. states and U.S. federal agencies well as WRI’s engagement with the U.S. EPA. Contact:as they work together and in parallel to develop programs flitz@law.pace.edu.to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Prior to joiningWRI, Kristin worked with SAIC’s climate changeservices team, where she focused on a wide range ofGHG management projects for federal governmentagencies, local governments, and private sector entities.Projects included supporting the U.S. Energy InformationAdministration’s national inventory of greenhouse gases,EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program and ClimateLeaders Program, researching issues related to newand existing carbon offset project types, and developingcommunity-level GHG inventories for cities and countiesacross the country. Contact: kmeek@wri.org.Rebecca Gasper is a Research Assistant in WRI’sClimate and Energy Program. She supports WRI’s Table of Contentsefforts with U.S. states and U.S. federal agencies asthey work together and in parallel to develop programs I. Introduction 1to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Before joining II. Charting a Path Forward in the U.S.:WRI, Rebecca worked at the Center for Integrative Summary of Key Findings 3Research (CIER) at the University of Maryland. She III. The Road the U.S. is on Now: Business as Usual 10worked primarily on climate change mitigation and IV. Understanding the Federal Reduction Pathways 13adaptation at the regional and international levels. She V. Understanding the State Reduction Pathways 20also has experience supporting state efforts to develop VI. Conclusion:water quality markets. Contact: rgasper@wri.org. Finding Our Way to a Low-Carbon Future 25Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers
  3. 3. Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers 1Summary for PolicymakersI. IntroductionC limate change impacts in the United OO Which legal and policy tools at the state and States are increasingly evident and come with federal levels offer the greatest potential for steep economic and social costs. The frequency and achieving emissions reductions in the near-intensity of extreme weather events has increased in recent and mid-term?years, bringing record-breaking heat, heavy precipitation,coastal flooding, severe droughts, and damaging wildfires.1 OO Can the U.S. meet its international commitmentAccording to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric to reduce emissions 17 percent below 2005 levelsAdministration (NOAA), weather-related damages in the by 2020 without new federal legislation?United States were $60 billion in 2011, and are expectedto be significantly greater in 2012.2 OO Can the U.S. put itself on a trajectory to meet or exceed its long-term commitment of reducingThe mounting costs convey an unmistakable urgency emissions by more than 80 percent below 2005 levelsto address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas by 2050, without new legislation from Congress?emissions (GHGs). This report examines pathways forGHG reductions in the United States through actions The answers to these questions are set out in detail intaken at the federal and state levels without the need the body of this report. Two significant findings standfor new legislation from the U.S. Congress. out. First, it is clear the U.S. is not currently on track to meet its 2020 reduction pledge, however, thisThis report answers a number of key questions: target is achievable through implementation of strongOO What are current U.S. GHG emissions? Without new federal measures to reduce emissions using further action to reduce emissions, what are they existing legal authorities. Second, the mid-century goal projected to be in 2020 and 2035? of reducing emissions by 80 percent or more appears unattainable using existing authorities. New legislationOO What legal and policy tools exist under current will eventually be needed. federal law to achieve emissions reductions? What additional actions can states pursue to contribute to emissions reductions? Box 1 Key Conclusions and Recommendations 1. ithout new action by the U.S. Administration, greenhouse W process and under its independent Clean Air Act authority. gas (GHG) emissions will increase over time. The U.S. Eliminating HFCs represents the biggest opportunity for will fail to make the deep emissions reductions needed GHG emissions reductions behind power plants. in coming decades, and will not meet its international commitment to reduce GHG emissions by 17 percent 4. .S. states should complement federal actions to reduce U below 2005 levels by 2020. emissions through state energy efficiency, renewables, transportation, and other actions. States can augment 2. he U.S. EPA should immediately pursue “go-getter” T federal reductions. emissions reductions from power plants and natural gas systems using its authority under the Clean Air Act. 5. New federal legislation will eventually be needed, because These two sectors represent two of the top opportunities even go-getter action by federal and state governments for substantial GHG reductions between now and 2035. will probably fail to achieve the more than 80 percent GHG emissions reductions necessary to fend off the most 3. he U.S. Administration should pursue hydrofluorocarbon T deleterious impacts of climate change. (HFC) reductions through both the Montreal Protocol
  4. 4. Potential reductions in the United Stated were that total U.S. emissions will experience relatively assessed in a 2010 WRI Report entitled Reducing modest growth over the coming decades. Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States Using Existing Federal Authorities and State Action.3 This At the 2009 Conference of the Parties of the United updated report revisits these questions, taking into Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change account the latest GHG emissions information and in Copenhagen, Denmark, President Obama made a recent actions taken at the federal and state levels. commitment to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions Since the publication of the last report, notable factors in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. influencing U.S. GHG emissions include: Despite the inability of Congress to pass comprehensive � Reduced global economic growth, including slower climate change legislation, the Administration has re- growth of economic output in the United States; committed to the Copenhagen pledge and taken some steps to reduce emissions using authority under existing � Increased fuel switching from coal to natural gas laws.4 While the Administration has reaffirmed its in the generation of electricity; and commitment to this target, it has not yet matched that commitment with adequate action. Though significant � Reduced demand for transportation fuel, partly progress has been made in some areas since our 2010 as a result of higher petroleum prices, lower miles analysis, most notably with the vehicle rules, key traveled, and more efficient vehicles. opportunities, such as reductions from power plants, remain untapped. The fact that the U.S. remains far from These factors and others, including the issuance of new the “go-getter” emissions trajectory laid out in our 2010 motor vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency standards report reinforces the urgency for taking strong action now. for cars and trucks, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, even with these factors, we project Although the U.S. emissions reduction commitment for 2020 represents an important step toward reducing GHG emissions, much greater reductions are necessary. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, industrialized countries Box 2 Ambition Matters need to collectively reduce emissions between 25 and 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and Within the bounds of what is legally and technically possible, 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 in order the single most important factor influencing emissions to keep global average temperatures from increasing reductions is political and policy ambition. This analysis more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial considers three levels of ambition: levels. This report evaluates the potential for meeting the 17 percent commitment and the deeper longer- � L ackluster. This is low ambition and represents the term reduction pathway necessary to avoid the worst results of actions of lowest cost or least optimistic impacts of climate change. technical achievement. � iddle-of-the-Road. M This is mid-level ambition and represents the results of actions of moderate cost and moderately optimistic technical achievement. America’s Climate Choices: Panel on Advancing the Science of Climate 1.   Change. National Research Council, 2010.ISBN 978-0-309-14588-6. � o-Getter. G This is the highest ambition achievable Accessible at: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12782. without new congressional action. It represents the results Preliminary Info on 2012 U.S. Billion-Dollar Extreme Weather/ 2.   Climate Events. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. of actions of higher cost or most optimistic technical Accessible at: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/preliminary-info- achievement. 2012-us-billion-dollar-extreme-weatherclimate-events. (Last accessed January 15, 2013) The term “go-getter” is not meant to suggest the actions are 3.   Accessible at: http://www.wri.org/publication/reducing-ghg-emissions- using-existing-federal-authorities-and-state-action. adequate to achieve U.S. reduction targets or reductions the 4.  ost recently, the U.S. delegation to the Conference of the Parties of M science suggests are necessary to ward off the worst effects the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Doha, Qatar, made of climate change. it clear that the 17 percent pledge is not contingent on new legislation from Congress.2 Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers
  5. 5. Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers 3Attaining even the 17 percent reduction goal will A Federal GHG Reductions Possible . require new and ambitious action from the U.S. without New LegislationAdministration—ambitious action that must survive OO Only with “go-getter” ambition by the U.S.court challenges. Real progress depends on numerous Administration can the United States achieveactions not yet taken by the U.S. Administration— emissions reductions using current law that meetespecially for stationary emissions sources like power or exceed the Copenhagen commitment to reduceplants, natural gas systems, and industry. U.S. states global warming pollution by at least 17 percentmay also need to take action to fill any emissions gaps below 2005 levels by 2020.6 With middle-of-left by the federal government. Achieving the necessary the-road ambition, the United States will fallmid-century reductions will almost certainly require the well short of its 17 percent commitment, unlessU.S. Congress to act to achieve the needed reductions. supplemented by go-getter actions by the states.Section II summarizes the report’s key findings, OO Even with go-getter ambition, long-term emissionsincluding the range of reductions that are possible reductions fall short of the level of reductionsand a brief description of the analytical approach. An necessary to put the United States on pace toexamination of current emissions in the United States reach its long-term reduction goal of reducingand projected emissions without new actions follows emissions 83 percent below 2005 levels byin Section III. Section IV summarizes the sector-by- 2050. New congressional legislation is thereforesector actions the federal government might take under necessary to achieve reductions in line with whatexisting laws. Section V summarizes potential state the international scientific community agrees isactions. Section VI sets out summary conclusions. necessary by mid-century in order to stabilizeTwo detailed appendixes set out the assumptions and global average temperatures and avert the worstmethodologies for the federal and state analyses. impacts of climate change.The picture revealed is one of significant potentialgreenhouse gas emissions reductions, provided there OO After taking action to significantly improve motoris sufficient political will to take strong action. vehicle fuel efficiency, the U.S. Administration should now apply similar ambition to reducing emissions from a wider range of sources, such as existing power plants, if it is to achieve the needed reductions.II. Charting a Path Forward in the U.S.: Summary of Key Findings OO The greatest projected emissions reductionThis report identifies significant potential for GHG opportunities by 2020 and beyond come from fouremissions reductions by the U.S. Administration under federal policy measures. The Administration willcurrent laws and through state-level actions, as well as need to pursue these opportunities if the Unitedthe limitations of current tools. The reductions actually States is to achieve the 17 percent reductionachieved will depend on the level of ambition brought target. Those policies are:to the effort by the U.S. Administration, includingexecutive agencies such as the U.S. Environmental OO standards to reduce carbon pollution fromProtection Agency. At the state level, outcomes existing power plants (48 percent of totalwill depend on the number of states that choose to emissions gap between business-as-usualsupport renewable energy, energy efficiency, and (BAU) and 2020 target);transportation measures, and to pursue policies thatthe federal government opts not to pursue or that gobeyond the minimum stringency set by the federalgovernment. Key findings are set out below for federal 5.  or data sources and an explanation of how expected emissions trends F were compiled, please consult the appendixes. For the sake of clarity andand state actions.5 brevity, sources are not provided in this summary. 6.  The U.S. commitment in Copenhagen calls for reductions in 2020 “in the range of 17 percent [below 2005 levels], in conformity with anticipated U.S. energy and climate legislation.” The U.S. submission notes that the ultimate goal of legislation pending at the time was to reduce emissions by 83 percent below 2005 levels in 2050.
  6. 6. figur e 1 Projected U.S. Emissions under Different Federal Regulatory Scenarios 8,000 Business-as-Usual 7,000 M I L L I O N M E T R I C T O N S O F C O 2e Lackluster 6,000 5,000 Middle-of-the-Road 4,000 % B e l o w 2 0 0 5 Emissi o ns 2020 2035 Go-Getter Lackluster 8% 10% 17% and 83% 3,000 Middle-of-the-Road 12% 26% Reduction Pathway 2,000 Go-Getter 17% 40% 1,000 Reductions Necessary to Reach 450 ppm CO2e 36-49% 60-72% 0 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 Y Ear Note: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Fourth Assessment Report (2007) indicates that industrialized countries need to collectively reduce emissions between 25 and 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 to keep atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases from exceeding 450 parts per million of CO2e and to keep global average temperatures from increasing more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This target does not necessarily represent any particular country’s share. Due to modeling limitations, this figure depicts HFC consumption, which is generally thought to be equivalent to life-cycle emissions. For this and all other figures, we use the global warming potentials provided in IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. There are some limited exceptions. See Appendix I for more details. OO requirements to phase out the use of certain and help the United States reach its goal of reducing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) (23 percent of total emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. emissions gap between BAU and 2020 target); OO If the federal government pursues a lackluster OO standards to reduce methane emissions from effort, even a go-getter effort by states is unlikely natural gas systems (11 percent of total emissions to achieve the U.S. Administration’s 2020 gap between BAU and 2020 target);7 and reduction goal. OO actions to improve energy efficiency in the OO Beyond 2020, go-getter state action combined residential, commercial, and industrial sectors with middle-of-the-road federal action falls short of (8 percent of total emissions gap between putting the United States on track to make the mid- BAU and 2020 target). century reduction target. This suggests that strong new federal legislative action will be needed. B. S tate Action Could Help the U.S. Meet C. The Study in Brief Near-Term Pledge This updated report represents the authors’ OO States can be important contributors to efforts to projections of the range of greenhouse gas reduce GHG emissions. If the U.S. Administration emissions reductions possible if federal agencies were to pursue policies with middle-of-the-road and certain states implement measures to reduce ambition, for example, states could pick up the slack GHG emissions. The report projects the range of reductions possible under current federal law based on a review of published analyses of technical 7.  here is considerable uncertainty with regard to emissions for natural gas T feasibility. The report characterizes three emissions systems. The absolute magnitude of abatement opportunities is thus also uncertain. Nevertheless, our analysis suggests that there are important scenarios based on different levels of effort by opportunities to reduce emissions from this sector. Those reductions are federal and state actors: “lackluster,” “middle-of- some of the lowest cost opportunities identified in this analysis. the-road,” and “go-getter.”4 Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers
  7. 7. Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers 5 figur e 2 Projected U.S Emissions with State Action Coupled with Middle-of-the-Road Federal Action 8,000 Business-as-Usual 7,000M I L L I O N M E T R I C T O N S O F C O 2e 6,000 Federal Middle-of-the-Road 5,000 with State Middle-of-the-Road 4,000 % B e l o w 2 0 0 5 Emissi o ns 2020 2035 with State Go-Getter Federal Middle-of-the-Road 12% 26% 17% and 83% 3,000 with State Middle-of-the-Road 14% 31% Reduction Pathway 2,000 with State Go-Getter 19% 41% 1,000 Reductions Necessary to Reach 450 ppm CO2e 36-49% 60-72% 0 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 Y Ear Note: Due to modeling limitations, this figure depicts HFC consumption, which is generally thought to be equivalent to life-cycle emissions. 1. Analysis of Federal Actions Lackluster emissions reductions from all sectors and The analysis of federal actions is based on a legal subsectors analyzed were aggregated to determine the assessment of the measures the U.S. Administration, lackluster emissions pathway through 2035. The same including key federal agencies like EPA, may take under approach was taken for middle-of-the-road and go- existing federal laws. The federal analysis assumes no getter reductions. new legislation is adopted. Technical studies were used to identify the range of reductions possible within a 2. Analysis of State Actions given sector or subsector. The legally and technically The state analysis has two components: the first feasible range of reductions was then evaluated based considers the impact of states taking action in the on the level of ambition necessary to achieve a particular absence of federal action; the second considers the point in the range. Where available, we relied more impact of states taking action in the presence of varying heavily on studies that provided a consideration of the levels of federal action. In both components we examine costs needed to achieve a particular outcome to provide the implication of states implementing the same types of a sense of the federal regulatory resolve necessary to policies modeled for the federal government, as well as achieve those reductions. complementary state-level actions in the transportation, energy efficiency, and renewables areas. Where only a low level of ambition is necessary to achieve a particular technically and legally feasible outcome For transportation, the state scenarios consider measures within a specific sector or subsector, the outcome was to encourage low carbon fuels and reduce vehicle judged to be “lackluster.” If a high level of ambition is miles traveled. In the energy efficiency area, measures necessary to achieve a particular reduction outcome examined include increased electric end-use energy deemed technically and legally possible, the effort efficiency, improved building performance, and increased necessary was deemed “go-getter” in our scenarios. deployment of combined heat and power. For renewables, “Middle-of-the-road” outcomes were those judged the analysis adds new and additional renewable energy possible with moderate ambition and usually at the middle policies across a certain number of states. of the range deemed technically and legally possible.
  8. 8. figur e 3 P rojected U.S. Emissions in 2020 by Sector under Different Federal Regulatory Scenarios 2043 1883 1710 2,000 1468 978 980 980 986 M illi o n M e tric T o ns o f C O 2 e 1,500 526 509 510 496 1,000 388 388 378 381 458 279 276 Power Plants 264 235 248 Light-Duty Vehicles 231 226 223 Manufacturing 232 Medium- Heavy-Duty 295 186 181 181 500 185 Refineries 182 167 Off-Highway 202 152 145 139 HFCs 145 138 130 Aircraft Landfills 73 73 55 Natural Gas Systems 31 50 27 44 Coal Mining a l 14 0 su er 8 Nitric Adipic Acid -U st - as lu a d r ss ck - Ro e tte s ine La he -G Bu -t Go of le- dd Mi Note: Figure 3 depicts the emissions under the three federal regulatory scenarios by sector or category of sources in 2020. The bars on the left represent business-as-usual emissions. Emissions under the lackluster, middle-of-the-road, and go-getter scenarios are then shown moving from left to right of the business-as-usual emissions. Light-duty vehicle emissions initially increase in our scenarios due to assumptions about vehicle electrification and crediting rates. As shown in Figure 4, these trends reverse in later years. See Appendix I for more information. Due to modeling limitations, this figure depicts HFC consumption, which is generally thought to be equivalent to life-cycle emissions.6 Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers
  9. 9. Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers 7 figur e 4 Projected U.S. Emissions in 2035 by Sector under Different Federal Regulatory Scenarios 2302 2143 2,000 1237 M illi o n M e tric T o ns o f C O 2 e 1,500 773 714 666 523 623 417 1,000 398 406 547 371 340 319 323 331 306 273 Power Plants 305 281 275 248 Light-Duty Vehicles 246 Manufacturing 220 Medium- Heavy-Duty 198 191 Refineries 500 75 182 38 Off-Highway 209 152 129 38 HFCs 144 138 135 143 Aircraft 118 87 69 Landfills 66 Natural Gas Systems 59 38 53 33 Coal Mining l 16 ua er 9 0 Us st Nitric Adipic Acid a s- lu o ad r s s- ck -R e tte ine La e -G s f -th Go Bu le -o dd MiNote: Figure 4 depicts the emissions under the three federal regulatory scenarios by sector or category of sources in 2035. The bars on the left represent the business-as-usualemissions. Emissions under the lackluster, middle-of-the-road, and go-getter scenarios are then shown moving from left to right of the business-as-usual emissions. Due tomodeling limitations, this figure depicts HFC consumption, which is generally thought to be equivalent to life-cycle emissions.
  10. 10. U.S. Emissions by Sector and Corresponding Federal Authorities (2010) figur e 5U .S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector and Corresponding Federal Authorities, 2010U.S. Emissions by Sector and Corresponding Federal Authorities (2010) 7% Agriculture ■ Agricultural policies (USDA) ■ Land 7% Agriculture (DOI) management policies ■ Federal forest lands management (USDA, USFS, DOI) n Agricultural policies (USDA) n 7% Agriculture Land management policies (DOI) 2% HFCs Agricultural policies (USDA) ■ ■ Elimination of HFCs (EPA) n Federal forest lands management (USDA, USFS, DOI) ■ Land management policies (DOI) 0.2% Other ■ Federal forest lands management (USDA, USFS, DOI) 4% Natural Gas Systems 2% HFCs ■ New Source Performance Standards(EPA) ■ Energy efficiency (DOE/States) n Elimination of 2% HFCs HFCs (EPA) ■ Elimination of HFCs (EPA) 2% Landfills 4% Natural Gas Systems ■ New Source Performance Standards (EPA) 4% Natural Gas Systems n New Source Performance Standards(EPA) ■ New Source Performance Standards(EPA) Mining 1% Coal ■■ Energy efficiency (DOE/States) n Energy efficiency (DOE/States) (EPA) New Source Performance Standards 2% Nitric 0.3% AdipicLandfills Acid Manufacturing 2% Landfills ■ New Source Performance Standards (EPA) Standards (EPA) ■ New Source Performance New Source Performance Coal Mining4% Other Industrial n 1% Standards (EPA) ■ New ■ NewMining Source Performance Standards (EPA) Source Performance Standards and pre-construction permits (EPA) 1% Coal n New Source Performance Standards0.3% Adipic0.3% Adipic Nitric (EPA) Nitric Acid Manufacturing ■ New Source Performance Standards (EPA) Acid Manufacturing 4% Other Industrial n New Source Performance Standards (EPA) ■ New Source Performance Standards and pre-construction permits (EPA) 4% Other Industrial Industrial Combustion 9% n New Source Performance Standards ■ New Source Performance Standards and pre-construction permits (EPA) ■ Energy efficiency standards (DOE) and pre-construction permits (EPA) 9% Industrial Combustion ■ New Source Performance Standards and pre-construction permits (EPA) 9% Industrial Combustion ■ Energy efficiency standards (DOE) n New Source Performance Standards and pre-construction permits (EPA) n Energy efficiency standards (DOE) 7% Commercial Residential Heating Fuel ■ Energy efficiency standards (DOE) ■ Building energy codes (States) 7% Commercial Residential Heating Fuel n Energy efficiency standards (DOE) 7% Commercial energy codes (States) n Building Residential Heating Fuel 2% Other Transportation ■ Energy efficiency standards (DOE) ■ Building energy codes (States) 3% Off-Highway Vehicles ■ Vehicle emissions standards (EPA) ■ Fuel standards (EPA) 2% Other Transportation 2% Other Transportation 2% Aircraft ■ Aircraft emissions standards (EPA) 3% Off-Highway Vehicles ■ Operational changes to save fuel (FAA) 3% Off-Highway Vehicles n Vehicle emissions standards (EPA) ■ Vehicle emissions standards (EPA) 6% Medium- Heavy ■ FuelFuel standards (EPA) n standards (EPA) ■ Same as ligh 2% Aircraft ■ Aircraft emissions standards (EPA) ■ Operational changes to save fuel (FAA) 2% Aircraft 6% Medium- nAircraft emissions standards (EPA) Heavy-Duty Vehicles 6% Medium- Heavy-DutyVehicles n Operational changes to save fuel (FAA) n SameSame as light-duty vehicles ■ as light-duty vehicles 8 Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers
  11. 11. Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers 9 0.2% Other 0.2% Other 26% Coal-Fired Power Plants n New Source Performance Standards and pre-construction permits (EPA) n Energy efficiency standards (DOE/States) 26% Coal-Fired Power Plants ■ New Source Performance Standards and pre-construction permits (EPA) n Ash disposal regulations (EPA) ■ Energy efficiency standards (DOE/States) Traditional pollution regulations (EPA) n■ Ash disposal regulations (EPA) ■ Traditional air regulations (EPA) 6% Natural Gas Power Plants nNew Source Performance Standards and pre-construction permits (EPA) n Energy efficiency standards (DOE/States) n Traditional pollution regulations (EPA/States) 1% Other Power Plants 1% Other Power Plants 16% Light-Duty Vehicles Vehicle Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards (DOT) n n Vehicle emissions standards under Clean Air Act (EPA) 16% Light-Duty Vehicles n ■ Vehicle Corporate Averagecarbon fuel standards (EPA) Renewable and/or low Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards (DOT) ■ Vehicle emissions standards under Clean Air Act (EPA) n Vehicle miles traveled policies (States, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Cities) ■ Renewable and/or low carbon fuel standards (EPA) ■ Vehicle miles traveled policies (States, MPOs, CitiesDutyVehiclesduty vehicles Source: Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990–2010. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, April 2012. Accessible at: http://www.epa.gov/ climatechange/emissions/usinventoryreport.html; Clearing the Air on Shale Gas Emissions: Assessing and Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Natural Gas. James Bradbury, Michael Obeiter, Laura Draucker, Wen Wang, and Amanda Stevens. World Resources Institute, Working Paper, forthcoming. Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990–2010, 430-R-12-001, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Atmospheric Programs, 15 Apr. 2012, http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/Downloads/ghgemissions/US-GHG-Inventory-2012-Main-Tex
  12. 12. Unlike the federal analysis, many of the state measures figur e 6 P rojected U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions if modeled would require new legislation at the state no New State or Federal Action is Taken level. Also unlike the federal scenario, whether state action is “lackluster”, “middle-of-the-road” or “go- 8,000 Historical Projected Emissions Emissions getter” is a function of how many states adopt the 7,000 MILLION METRIC TONS OF CO2 measures modeled, and in some cases the ambition of the policies pursued. 6,000 Non-CO2 Emissions Non-energy CO2 Emissions 5,000 3. Analysis of Federal and State Actions Together Given that it is unlikely that federal action will occur 4,000 without state action or that state action will occur 3,000 without federal action, we analyzed emissions scenarios 2,000 with both federal and state action. States can be expected to continue to be active in areas of traditional 1,000 Energy-related CO2 Emissions state purview such as energy resource planning and 0 energy efficiency, while also compensating for weak 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 federal action. To capture this dynamic, we modeled Y Ear varying levels of action for federal and state action. Source: See sources listed under Figures 7 and 8 below. III. he Road the U.S. is on Now: T B. What Happens with No New Policies? Business as Usual Understanding Current The reduction pathways presented in this report are U.S. Emissions Trends best considered in light of current U.S. emissions, along with recent and future emissions trends. A snapshot Before discussing the reduction pathways projected of U.S. emissions using the most recent data available for this report, it is important to describe the major is presented below, together with a summary of U.S. emissions trends that are part of the business-as-usual emissions by key sectors and recent actions to reduce projections. Business-as-usual emissions trends have them by federal agencies. shifted downward since the 2010 version of this report. While energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to rise slowly but remain below 2010 levels through 2035, A. Current U.S. Emissions non-CO2 emissions are projected to steadily increase In 2010 the United States emitted almost 7 billion over the same time period. The primary trends are metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), noted here: which represents a decrease of about 6 percent OO Current Energy-related Carbon Dioxide Emissions below 2005 levels and a 10 percent increase over Down from 2005 Levels. In 2011 carbon dioxide 1990 levels. Fossil-fuel combustion was responsible emissions from energy sources, which account for nearly 80 percent of U.S. emissions, with power for nearly 80 percent of U.S. GHG emissions, plants accounting for about 40 percent of combustion were 8.7 percent below 2005 levels. Nearly half emissions, or one-third of the total U.S. GHG inventory, of those reductions (48 percent) came from the according to EPA. The second largest contributor to power sector. The rest of the reductions came from total GHG emissions is the transportation sector, with transportation (28 percent), industry (18 percent), approximately 30 percent of U.S. emissions. Non-CO2 and buildings (6 percent).8 emissions and CO2 emissions that result from industrial processes (as opposed to combustion) represented OO Future Energy-CO 2 Emissions Expected to be approximately 22 percent of U.S. total GHG emissions. Relatively Flat. Our projections suggest that if no future policy actions are taken, then energy-CO2 Figure 5 shows the 2010 U.S. emissions inventory by emissions will remain approximately 10 percent sector and subsector, together with the corresponding federal regulatory tools available to achieve reductions in the sector. 8.  loser than You Think: Latest U.S. CO2 Pollution Data and Forecasts C Show Target Within Reach. NRDC Issue Brief. Dan Lashof. July 2012.10 Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers
  13. 13. Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers 11 below 2005 levels in 2020, and will increase figur e 7 P rojected U.S. Energy-Related Carbon slightly through 2035 to levels that are about Dioxide Emissions if no New State or 8 percent below 2005 levels (Figure 7). Federal Action is TakenOO Those trends are driven by a number of factors, including: 7,000 Historical Projected OO Falling Energy Demand. The economic Emissions Emissions 6,000 MILLION METRIC TONS OF CO2 slowdown experienced by the United States and other parts of the world over the period 5,000 from 2008 to 2012 has led to decreased demand for goods and services and reduced 4,000 Power Plants energy consumption.9 Over time, this trend is expected to reverse as economic growth 3,000 picks up. In addition, the industrial sector 2,000 Transportation was affected significantly by the recent economic turndown and saw a decrease in 1,000 both production and emissions. This decline Industry is projected to be temporary. Manufacturing Residential Commercial 0 output is expected to accelerate from 2010 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 through 2020, and emissions are projected Y Ear to increase by 4 percent over this time.10 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Review Years ( 2005-2011); U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook (Years 2012-2035) OO Rise of Natural Gas and Renewables. The power sector is shifting from coal-fired generation toward natural gas-fired and renewable generation. This trend is driven in part by increases in natural gas extraction, low standards covering light-, medium- and heavy- natural gas prices, increasing coal prices, duty vehicles. These gains will be partially offset and new (non-GHG) regulations for the power by continued increases in vehicle miles traveled.12 sector. Increases in renewable generation are Transportation emissions are projected to driven by state renewable standards, voluntary increase 1 percent below 2011 levels by 2035. purchases of “green” energy, and decreasing renewable energy costs. However, gas prices OO Non-Energy Emissions on the Rise. Trends for non- are expected to slowly rise from current levels energy and non-CO2 emissions, such as natural and demand for electricity is expected to rise gas systems, refrigerants, and landfills, show 18 percent by 2035 from 2010 levels.11 a likely rise. In 2010, non-energy and non-CO2 sources accounted for about 22 percent of total OO New Vehicle Rules. The transportation sector U.S. emissions. We project that these emissions is expected to become less carbon-intensive, will increase roughly 18 percent above 2005 levels due in large part to high petroleum prices and by 2020 and 36 percent above 2005 levels by new federal GHG emissions and fuel efficiency 2035, even after accounting for 2012 regulations that affect portions of natural gas systems and HFCs from vehicles. Those trends are driven by Annual Energy Review 2012. Figure 1.1, Primary Energy Overview9.   several factors, including: (Consumption). EIA, September 2012. Accessible at: http://www.eia. gov/totalenergy/data/annual/pdf/aer.pdf.10.  nnual Energy Outlook 2012 with Projections to 2035. EIA, A OO CFCs Phased Out, HFCs Phased In. HFC June 2012. Accessible at: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/ emissions are increasing due to the phaseout pdf/0383(2012).pdf.11.  nnual Energy Outlook 2012 with Projections to 2035. EIA, A of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other June 2012. Accessible at: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/ ozone-depleting substances under the pdf/0383(2012).pdf.12.  nnual Energy Outlook 2012 with Projections to 2035. EIA, A Montreal Protocol, which is intended to June 2012.
  14. 14. protect and restore the ozone layer in the Box 3 Recent Federal Action 2010–12 upper atmosphere, and the Clean Air Act. This trend is expected to continue as the interim Since the 2010 report, federal agencies have taken a number substitutes, HCFCs, are also phased out as of actions that are reducing GHG emissions. The most they are currently being replaced with gases significant actions from a GHG reduction perspective are that have a high global warming potential. summarized below. These are all incorporated into our new business-as-usual projections. OO With the Natural Gas Boon, More Methane Leaks. Extraction of natural gas in the � assenger P cars and light-duty trucks. In August 2012 United States has increased by over 25 EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration percent over the period of 2005 to 2011 due (NHTSA) finalized new fuel economy and GHG standards to rapid development of shale gas resources.13 for passenger cars and light-duty trucks for model years Increases in natural gas extraction lead 2017–2025. These standards equate to a fleet-wide to larger fugitive methane emissions from average of 54.5 mpg (101 g CO2e/km) if they are met natural gas systems. Fugitive methane solely through fuel economy improvements (as opposed to emissions are expected to fall significantly, reductions in HFC emissions from air conditioners). This is however, due to 2012 EPA regulations approximately double the fuel economy of vehicles sold in that reduce emissions of volatile organic 2010. EPA estimates that the rule will save nearly 2 billion tons of CO2e over the life of the program. This is in addition to the estimated 960 million tons of CO2e over the life of the 13.  onthly Energy Review. Table 1.2, Primary Energy Production by M prior regulations for model years 2012–2016. Source. EIA, December 2012. Accessible at: http://www.eia.gov/ totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec1_5.pdf. � eavy-duty H vehicles. In August 2011 EPA and NHTSA finalized the first-ever fuel efficiency and GHG emission figur e 8 P rojected U.S. Non-CO 2 and Non-Energy standards for model year 2014 through 2018 medium- and Emissions if no New State or Federal Action heavy-duty vehicles. EPA estimates that this rule will reduce is Taken CO2 emissions by approximately 270 million metric tons over the life of vehicles sold during the 2014–2018 model years. 2,000 Historical Projected � atural Emissions Emissions N gas systems. In April 2012 EPA finalized four 1,800 regulations that will reduce emissions of volatile organic M I L L I O N M E T R I C2 T O N S O F C O 2 1,600 HFCs compounds, sulfur dioxide (SO2), and air toxics from oil 1,400 and natural gas systems. EPA estimates that the new Agricultural Soils standards will have the co-benefit of reducing annual 1,200 MMTC0 e methane emissions by an estimated 19–33 million metric 1,000 Natural Gas and Petroleum Systems tons of CO2e. Coal Mines 800 Landfills � nergy E efficiency standards for new appliances. 600 Enteric Fermentation Between 2009 and 2011, the Department of Energy 400 Adipic Nitric Acid established 17 new standards. According to analysis C02 Process Emissions from Manufacturing 200 by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project and the Other American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy, these 0 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 standards are expected to save 126.2 TWh in 2025 and 146.8 TWh in 2035. Y Ear � on-GHG N regulations for power plants. EPA has also Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2010 (Years 2005-2010); U.S. Environmental finalized several other non-GHG-related environmental Protection Agency, Draft Global Non-CO2 Emissions Projections Report regulations for power plants, most notably those for 1990-2030 (Non-CO2 Years 2011-2035); RTI, Applied Dynamic Analysis of mercury and other air toxics. Some modeling has the Global Economy Model (Non-energy CO2 Years 2011-2035); Clearing the Air on Shale Gas Emissions: Assessing and Reducing the Carbon Footprint suggested that these rules could lead to the retirement of Natural Gas. World Resources Institute. Working Paper. James Bradbury, of old, inefficient, coal-fired power plants. Michael Obeiter, Laura Draucker, Wen Wang, and Amanda Stevens.12 Can the U.S. Get There from Here? Summary for Policymakers

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