by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
While the amateur schemers in Washington dream of a “Green New Deal,” the people who actually know what they’re doing have achieved a reduction of nearly a third in carbon-dioxide emissions related to electricity production — and not at great cost and inconvenience but while reducing expenses as cheap, abundant, and relatively clean (there isn’t any such thing as “clean energy,” only relatively clean energy) natural gas displaces coal. That wasn’t the result of the fiat of some central-planning committee with godlike powers over the economy; it was the result of innovation, competition, and market choices. That hard work was done while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was still trying to figure out how to change the margarita mix at Flats Fix.
In fact, U.S. emissions from energy consumption were lower in November 2018 (the most recent figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration) than they were 20 years ago (in November 1998) in spite of all the economic growth and population growth we’ve seen since then. Coal emissions are down by more than a third in that period. And those are just the gross numbers. Consider emissions per unit of energy output (or per unit of GDP), and the numbers are even better.