California greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuel are down, according to data released Nov. 7 by the U.S. Energy Information Agency. Greenhouse gases from burning fuel dropped to a total of 376 million metric tons in 2009, just 11 million metric tons, or 3.1 percent, above the 364.5 million metric tons emitted from fuel burning in 1990. Under AB 32, California\u2019s climate protection law, the state is striving to roll back emissions to their 1990 level by 2020. Nationwide, EIA said greenhouse gas emissions declined over the two years from 5,809 to 5,404 million metric tons, a 7 percent fall. Greenhouse gases not included in the EIA report include industrial chemicals, methane from landfills, agriculture, and sewage plants, and gases from other sources. Worldwide, the International Energy Agency reported late last month that in 2009 greenhouse gas emissions declined 1.5 percent. However, the International Agency said it\u2019s likely that data--once collected and analyzed--will show that the emissions jumped sharply in 2010, due to continuing growth in fossil fuel use in developing nations and more economic activity in developed countries. In California, EIA found that the biggest percentage decline occurred in power generation, where emissions fell from 51 to 48 million metric tons from 2008 to 2009, a reduction of 5.9 percent. Industrial emissions fell from 69.4 to 65.8 million metric tons, or by 5.1 percent. Transportation emissions fell from 224.7 to 218.2 million metric tons, or by 2.9 percent. A small increase occurred in the commercial business sector. Residential emissions declined just slightly, EIA said. EIA released the numbers without comment. Observers have widely attributed the decline to reduced economic activity. * * * * * A succinct breakdown published by the California Air Resources Board late last month shows which power generators and importers will not get free emissions rights granted under the agency\u2019s carbon cap-and-trade scheme, and which power distribution utilities get free credits. Also listed as getting free emissions rights are a number of industries exposed to out-of-state and international competition. Among industries receiving free credits are major oil companies like ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, and BP, plus food processing colossuses like ConAgra, Del Monte, Unilever, and General Mills. Suds producers Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors get freebies too, as do chemical companies like Dow and Air Products. It seems these big companies have California over a barrel--whether of oil, chemicals, catsup, or beer--when it comes to getting free credits. If they don\u2019t get them for free, they\u2019ll just pack up and leave. * * * * * A national coalition of investors, Fortune 500 businesses, and public-interest organizations say a 54.5 mile\/gallon standard for cars would boost jobs in California and across the nation, in part, by freeing up consumer dollars for spending on things besides fuel. The coalition, Ceres, stated in a Nov. 9 report that California, for instance, would see 57,300 new jobs under the standard, which President Obama is expected to formally propose later this month. The report is More Jobs Per Gallon.