China’s Number One Energy Consumer in the World; Could Pose Problems for the US

China officially passes the United States as the world’s largest energy consumer, according to the International Energy Agency, although the US is still the world’s leader in energy consumed per capita by a considerable margin.  However, that per capita gap is expected to decrease as the Chinese economy becomes wealthier and consumers purchase more energy intensive products.

As China’s economy expands, competition for oil resources is also expected to continue to intensify.  Thus for reasons of energy security and price stability, the United States should ramp up its efforts to produce biofuels and spur the development of plug-in hybrids.

China’s status as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, and its reluctance to cap those emissions, further makes it more difficult for climate change legislation to be passed in the US, as legislators fear handicapping the nation’s economy (though as I stated in a previous post, that fear is likely to be overestimated).