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Jordan Candler / Apr. 24, 2018

American Ingenuity Defies Carbon Emissions Orthodoxy

"No major industrial economy on Earth has made as much progress as the U.S." in reducing emissions.

A few months ago The Washington Post begrudgingly reported, “Countries made only modest climate-change promises in Paris. They’re falling short anyway.” As we noted at the time, there’s absolutely nothing surprising about the report because the entire Paris Climate Accords façade was predicated on a pipe dream. That’s why President Donald Trump dumped it. In a free market like the one upon which America was built, innovation, not reckless government mandates, must be the policy centerpiece of the economy. Maintaining a clean environment is important, no doubt, but statist decrees will inevitably do more harm than good.

The benefits of natural human innovation are far too often taken for granted. That’s a shame because much heartache could otherwise be avoided — including when it comes to emissions control. According to Investor’s Business Daily, “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.”

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt succinctly responded, “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. The U.S. has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than any country on Earth over the last decade.” Moreover, he proclaimed, “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.”

For the record, foreign nations are actually purchasing U.S. coal at increasing rates, with nearly 100 million short tons of it being shipped from the U.S. in 2017. However, this is a mutually beneficial arrangement — it bolsters the U.S. economy while helping foreign nations meet their energy needs, which, ironically, underscores just how flawed the Paris accord is; these foreign nations’ energy problems were mostly created by their reliance on renewables.

But it gets even better: These countries’ embrace of U.S. coal in the meantime will hopefully put them on a path toward finding their own innovative solutions to carbon emissions like we are here in the U.S. As Investor’s adds, “American companies are reducing our greenhouse gas output without being ordered to do so by dictatorial green bureaucrats. That’s a lesson the rest of the world could learn from.” The results speak for themselves.

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