U.S. emissions of the gases blamed for global warming fell 1.5 percent in 2006 on mild weather and high fossil fuel prices, the statistics arm of the Department of Energy estimated on Wednesday.
President George W. Bush said in a release that the drop kept the country "well ahead" of his greenhouse gas intensity goal, as measured by the amount of such gases emitted per unit of economic activity.
But U.S. emissions remained much higher than they were in 1990, a key year in international efforts to fight climate change because it is the baseline year for the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol. Rich countries that signed the pact have to cut their emissions at least 5 percent under their 1990 levels by 2008 to 2012.
...Unseasonably cool weather in the summer and warm weather in the winter kept power demand flat last year which reduced emissions of CO2 from power plants, while higher prices for energy cut emissions from industry and cars, the report said...