Analysis Shows CO2 Reductions if Current Energy Laws Stay in Place

Tax credits for renewable energy are set to expire, but a new study shows that current energy policies, if they’re kept in place, would reduce carbon dioxide emissions over the next thirty years.

The Energy Information Administration is an arm of the federal government, but is policy neutral. This means they don’t advocate for certain policies; they just crunch the numbers.

For this study, the analysts assumed two things: one, that every policy that’s in place now stays in place until 2040. And two, that there’s a continued increase in the stringency of regulations, even after new policies kick in.

Owen Comstock is an analyst with the EIA. He compared this new scenario to to one in which all the current laws sunset when they’re scheduled to. The new scenario ends up resulting in significant energy savings.

“The energy use is about 55 quadrillion BTUs lower than the reference case over that time period from 2013-2040,” he said. “And emissions are down about six percent, relative to the reference case.”

One reason for this is the scenario’s assumption that production tax credits for renewable energy continue, even though they’re scheduled to be phased out.

Erica Peterson

Erica Peterson reports on energy and the environment for WFPL.