EIA Predicts 2.1% Fossil Fuel Emissions Increase in 2010 Due to Improving Economy

While the recent fluctuation in the price of crude oil is being driven alternately by irrational hope followed by despair, the U.S. Energy Information Agency (the EIA, yep, it’s all bean counters there) is predicting that 2010 will bring enough economic growth that global CO2 emissions will increase by a modest 2.1% and that crude oil prices per barrel will average $81 through 2010 and $85 by the end of 2011.

This follows a 6.6% decline in CO2 emissions from fossil fuels in 2009, but will still be lower than the annual emissions from 1999-2008 when we were spending, growing and buying things on credit as if there was no tomorrow.

As part of their analysis, EIA also tried to predict how much people will pay for fuel in the coming months. According to the EIA estimates, gas will average $2.92 per gallon this summer, up from $2.44 per gallon last summer, with some spikes up above $3 per gallon. Looking a bit further ahead, EIA predicts that gas prices will increase from $2.35 per gallon in 2009 to $2.84 in 2010 and to $2.96 in 2011. EIA predicts that diesel prices will hover at around $2.95 per gallon in 2010 and $3.12 per gallon in 2011.

These types of predictions always need to be taken with a grain of salt. Nobody predicted that gasoline would rocket up to $4 per gallon a couple of summers ago and nobody knows how growing demand in China and India will truly affect oil supplies the world over. We all know oil’s going to run out eventually, it’s just a matter of when and how much we’re willing to pay at the pump before it does.

At less than $3.00 per gallon and crude oil prices under $90 per barrel, it may be more difficult to maintain interest in plug in vehicles beyond the initial swath of early adopters. We’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out. Of course, the smart money is on ridding ourselves of our addiction to a finite resource… but we’re not always so smart with our money, as we’ve proved over and over again.

Source: Green Car Congress


Nick Chambers

Not your traditional car guy.