by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
When the U.S. announced last year it would withdraw from the job-killing Paris Climate Accords, it was treated by the media as a climate-change disaster. But don’t worry: The U.S. is slashing output of greenhouse gases all on its own.
The latest report from the Environmental Protection Agency shows that the emission of so-called greenhouse gases declined by 2% in 2016 from 2015 and 11% from 2005. No major industrial economy on Earth has made as much progress as the U.S.
And no, we’re not claiming this as a victory for Donald Trump or anyone else in government. It’s due to fracking and the replacement of high-CO2 fuels like coal with far-cleaner natural gas. …
… “This report confirms the president’s critics are wrong again: one-size-fits-all regulations like the Clean Power Plan or misguided international agreements like the Paris Accords are not the solution,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “The U.S. has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than any country on Earth over the last decade.”
He added: “American ingenuity and technological breakthroughs, not top-down government mandates, have made the U.S. the world leader in achieving energy dominance while reducing emissions — one of the great environmental successes of our time.”
Sounds almost too good to be true, but it is. Pruitt is right.
Meanwhile, among the other 194 countries that signed the Paris Accords to reduce their greenhouse gas output, emissions continue to rise. Many of these countries have promoted foolish policies, such as shutting down nuclear power plants, that actually make their skies dirtier, not cleaner.