President Obama is rushing to enact regulations and laws that will require utilities and other power producers — on pain of death — to cut their carbon emissions by 2030.
But it is all a charade. The fact is that they are well on their way to achieving his targets by then or even earlier without new laws or new regulations. Market forces, which this president doesn’t get, are accomplishing what he touts his program as doing.
Coal is crashing. Natural gas is soaring. Petroleum use is dropping. All without Big Brother forcing it.
In 1987, coal accounted for 27% of all energy production. Now it is down to 16% and dropping sharply every year. Banning coal is like outlawing the Dodo bird.
Gas has replaced coal, growing from 16% of energy production in 1987 to 27% today — the exact opposite of coal. Gas is rising in consumption not because of any federal regulation but because it is cheaper. Cheaper because of the record production of fracking — the other bête noire of the left. With no real damage to the water supply, it has freed us from the grip of dirty coal! (Natural gas has half the emissions of carbon as coal).
Petroleum is also dropping. In 2008, it accounted for 40% of all energy used in the U.S. Now it is down to 34% and dropping. We are driving less. Cars are more energy efficient. And we do all this because of the market, not because of federal regulation
Nuclear has inched up from 5% to 8% of energy use since 1987.
The Holy Grail of the left has barely budged rising form 2% to 4% in the past five years. As long as Obama pushes renewable sources, which make no economic sense without big federal subsidies, he won’t make real progress toward his goal of lowering carbon emissions. But don’t tell the facts to true believers.
So why is Obama pushing regulation when the market is doing all he could possibly wish for? Because he wants regulation and he is using the excuse of climate change to get there. Just as he wants global governance and he is using climate change to move us toward government by treaty in which Congress is not consulted at all.
As Reagan once said: “facts are stubborn things.”
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