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CO2 to Fall This Year, Rise in 2012

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels are likely to decline in 2011 but increase in 2012, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook projects that CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, which increased by 3.8 percent in 2010, will decline by 0.6 percent in 2011.

EIA then expects that emissions will increase by 2.4 percent in 2012 as consumption grows for all fossil fuels. But emissions in 2012 are projected to remain below levels seen every year from 2000 to 2008, the EIA says.

A previous EIA release projected that the US will see a 15 percent increase in CO2 emissions by 2035.

The EIA projects that the average cost of crude oil will rise year-on-year to 2011, up $14 a barrel to $93 – an 18 percent jump. The price is expected to rise again to $99 per barrel in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The EIA also expects the price of regular-grade gasoline to rise 39 cents on last year, to $3.17 per gallon, and to rise further to $3.29 in 2012.

And it projects that inventories of natural gas will remain at or near record-high levels through most of 2011. Working inventories ended 2010 at 3.1 trillion cubic feet.

The EIA says natural gas spot prices are likely to be $0.37 per MMBtu lower in 2011 than in 2010, averaging $4.02 per million Btu this year. But it says the natural gas market will likely tighten in 2012, with the average spot price increasing to $4.50 per MMBtu.

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