The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the latest events in the climate change debate.
The article reports:
Speaking at the United Nations in December, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew cheers by saying the United States was “still in” the Paris Climate Agreement. Green activists applauded Pelosi’s defense of the international climate accord, which President Trump had vowed to exit. These activists claim that remaining in the Paris Agreement will help reduce global emissions.
They are wrong.
European leaders have spent years trying and pointedly failing to solve the climate crisis with regulation. Whether intentionally or not, U.S. policymakers have mostly avoided top-down solutions. And counterintuitively, or perhaps it should have been intuitive, the U.S. now leads the developed world in reducing carbon emissions.
America didn’t need a treaty–we just needed a President who understood how to balance environmental policy and the freedom and interests of the American people.
The article explains why the American approach has worked:
…instead of banning fossil fuels outright, the U.S. embraced natural gas amid a boom in its production. Thanks to a process called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” we’ve managed to tap new reserves of natural gas. In 2015, the U.S. surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s top producer of natural gas. By 2018, energy companies produced over 60% more natural gas than they had two decades earlier. This newfound abundance of natural gas has helped our nation transition away from coal, which emits twice as much carbon dioxide.
Thanks to this shift, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have hit 30-year lows, even as global emissions have increased by 50% during the same period. And since 2005, natural gas has done more to reduce power sector dioxide emissions than all renewable energy sources combined, according to the Energy Information Administration.
By eschewing regulation, America has also spurred additional emissions-reducing innovations in the private sector. Freed from red tape, U.S. energy firms have been able to devise and implement a host of groundbreaking green technologies. For example, a new technology called CleanWave strips chemicals from fracking wastewater using positively charged ions and bubbles. The Texas-based energy firm Apache reduces greenhouse gas emissions by powering fracking engines with natural gas instead of diesel.
The article concludes:
While the rest of the world fumbles with green energy policies, the U.S. continues to reduce emissions. We don’t need regulation to guarantee future success. American firms will continue to combat climate change, as long as we let them.
The free market works any time you let it.