WASHINGTON: The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday asked for public comment on a draft report that analyzes the sources of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions over a 15-year period that are linked to global warming.
The major finding in the draft report is that overall U.S. emissions during 2005 rose by less than 1% from the prior year to the equivalent of 7,262 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
The draft report finds that total U.S. emissions have grown by 16% from 1990 to 2005, while the U.S. economy has jumped by 55%.
The inventory report also calculated carbon dioxide emissions that are taken out of the atmosphere by so-called “sinks”, such as forests, vegetation and soils that absorb carbon.
The final report will be sent to the United Nations to meet the United States’ annual requirement as a party to an international treaty on climate change.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was ratified by the United States in 1992, sets out an overall framework for governments to tackle climate change.
President George W. Bush pulled the United States out of the subsequent Kyoto global warming treaty, arguing the accord’s limit on annual emissions would hurt the U. S. economy.
Instead, the Bush administration has promoted its program that has companies voluntarily take steps to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.
However, many lawmakers in the new Democratic-controlled Congress are pushing for legislation to impose specific reductions in total U.S. greenhouse gases.
The EPA’s emissions report will be open for public comment for 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register of new and revised government regulations.