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U.S. GHG Emissions Dropped in 2006

Greenhouse gas emissions dropped 1.5 percent last year compared to 2005, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday.

Greenhouse gas intensity, measured in units against gross domestic product, dropped 4.2 percent in the same period, the agency estimated.

Emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary culprit given as a cause for climate change, has risen each year at an average of 1.2 percent between 1990 and 2005. CO2 emissions declined in 2006 1.8 percent compared to 2005.

The agency attributed the drop to a half-percent decline in overall energy demand from nice weather and high energy prices, and lower intensity from electricity power generation.

President George Bush hailed the report as a validation of his climate change policy, which is based on voluntary action rather than mandatory caps as laid out in the Kyoto Treaty, which he rejected because of a perceived threat on the economy.

"That means greenhouse gas intensity -- how much we emit per unit of economic activity - - decreased by 4.2 percent, the largest annual improvement since 1985," Bush said in a statement. "This puts us well ahead of the goal I set in 2002 to reduce greenhouse gas intensity by 18 percent by 2012."

The report comes within weeks of the next U.N. climate summit in Bali, Indonesia, where world leaders are poised to hammer out the next post-Kyoto climate change roadmap.

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