How is it that the United States, once considered the largest air-polluter of the industrialized world (before China woke up) has been able to cut its emissions of CO2, NOX, and Sulfur Dioxide to levels so low, they hardly matter anymore? Why is it that other large industrialized economies like Japan, China, India and the EU have not been able to cut emissions and have actually increased them at a time when everyone is yelling “bloody murder” about global warming and greenhouse gases?
No we didn’t do it with Clean Coal Technologies, although we probably could have, we didn’t do it with wind and solar, or more hydro, geo-thermal or nuclear. We didn’t do it with ocean wave energy or some high-tech alternative source. We did it by innovating in the fossil fuel sector to use fracking to get more natural gas out of the ground. Now we have so much that coal cannot compete for price, so we’ve switched to gas turbines. How come the fossil fuel industry doesn’t get credit for cleaning up the air? Why is the fossil fuel industry still attacked by the EPA, when they are the ones that allowed the USA to reach their goals for emission cuts promised to the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change).
There was a great conference held by the Hudson Institute titled; “A New Global Energy Order?: The Geopolitics of America’s Shale Revolution,” which dove into the economics, politics and environmental wins brought forth due to Shale Gas fracking and the entire game-changing events in energy innovation as of late. The introduction to the conference noted the following:
“In a few years, hydraulic fracturing, the oil and natural gas extraction technology, has transformed America into the world’s largest natural gas producer. While the U.S. has reaped economic and security benefits from the shale revolution, what impact has it had on the rest of the world? Has the rapid plunge in world oil prices jeopardized America’s prospects for becoming a swing producer, saving room for OPEC to regain its influence in world markets? Can countries in Europe and Asia take advantage of shale technology to ensure their own energy security?”
At some point we need to give credit where credit is due, and remind the alternative energy folks that it was them who helped us meet our goals for reduced emissions, it was the fossil fuel sector that came to the rescue with brilliant new technology – technology that is getting better every day to bring us reliable and cheap energy to the greatest nation on the planet; The United States of America.