in June 2007 China earned the dubious distinction of surpassing the
U.S. to become the world's
top emitter of greenhouse gases. Now approximately three
years later, the highly populated country has become the world's
largest consumer of energy.The news that China may now be the
world biggest energy customer comes based on analysis by
the International Energy
Agency (IEA). According
to the IEA, China overtook the U.S. in energy consumption
sometime last year.Despite having over 1.3 billion people,
versus about 307 million in the U.S., China's new title may be
primarily driven by the inefficient way it uses energy. While
the U.S. has improved its energy efficiency by 2.5 percent per year
from 2000 to 2010, China only improved 1.7 percent.While the
U.S. still trails Europe in energy efficiency, it is consuming much
less power as time goes on. States Fatih Birol, the IEA's chief
economist, "In the 2000, the US consumed twice as much energy as
China, now China consumes more than the U.S. On the one hand, the
U.S. has come to a certain saturation of energy use, but there have
also been lots of efforts, especially since 2005, to use energy more
efficiently."As Birol indicates, the Chinese victory
came as somewhat of a surprise, as it was widely expected to take a
couple more years for the Chinese to surpass the U.S. in energy
consumption. But the the numbers conclusively show that last
year China used 4 percent more power than the U.S. -- 2,252 million
tons of oil equivalent of energy from sources including coal, oil,
nuclear power, natural gas and hydropower.The IEA states that
China, as the world's top dog in energy consumption, will be able to
dictate international energy policy to an extent. States Birol,
"There will be a big multiplier effect."The U.S. in
recent years has been concerned with China's energy hunger.
Disdainful of China's proposed "voluntary"
emissions targets, the U.S. has also shown concern about China's
aggressive pursuit of Kazakhstan oil.Three years ago China
was a net exporter of coal. This year it is expected to import
105-115 million tonnes of coal, to surpass Japan as the world's
largest coal importer. China is also now Saudi Arabia's largest
oil customer -- a position held for decades by the U.S. Money
speaks and that position will likely have a profound effect on
international business and relations in the Middle East.Nobuo
Tanaka, the IEA's secretary-general, has been trying to convince
China to join the IEA since March. The organization, which
represents the largest energy consumers in the Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) helps push
for alternative energy and greater energy efficiency.
quote: As far lowering taxes, I seriously doubt that is possible given the financial crisis going on.
quote: If you can find $ to fund wars, or help foreign countries then you can find $ to help Americans struggling, many at no fault of their own.
quote: We can live without the government.
quote: There are alot working poor in this country that do pay taxes.