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EPA says CO2, cow-pig manure and urine rank 1-2-3 as global warming threat

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Climate Change,EPA,Energy and Environment,Global Warming,Greenhouse Gases

Warmer winter weather, which many environmentalists blame on global warming, actually helped to cut emissions of global warming-causing greenhouse gasses to the lowest level in a decade, according to a new EPA report on climate change.

In the EPA's “Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks,” the agency said that greenhouse gas emissions dropped 3.4 percent in 2012 from 2011. And emissions are down to their lowest level since 1994.

Among the reasons cited: Less heating fuel is burned when it's warmer outside.

“The decrease from 2011 to 2012 was due to a decrease in the carbon intensity of fuels consumed by power producers to generate electricity due to a decrease in the price of natural gas, a decrease in transportation sector emissions attributed to a small increase in fuel efficiency across different transportation modes and limited new demand for passenger transportation, and much warmer winter conditions resulting in a decreased demand for heating fuel in the residential and commercial sectors,” the EPA said in the executive summary of the 529-page report.

The EPA did not mention warmer winter temperatures for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in its press release.

Still, the government blames man for over 82 percent of the emissions and said that the U.S. is responsible for 17 percent of the world emissions of greenhouse gasses.

Besides cars and trucks, one major reason is because of cow and pig manure and urine, which produce harmful methane and nitrous oxide. Both of those have been on the increase. In fact, methane and nitrous oxide rank second and third behind carbon dioxide as the top three drivers of global warming, said the EPA.

In the section titled "Global Warming Potential," the EPA says carbon dioxide ranks first followed by methane and nitrous oxide, both produced in big numbers by the animals. Methane increased 68 percent in emissions from 1990. "The majority of this increase was from swine and dairy cow manure, where emissions increased 53 and 115 percent, respectively," said EPA.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.