Feature

How fracking worked better than Kyoto

This year, “carbon-dioxide emissions in the U.S. have dropped to their lowest level in 20 years.”

Bjorn Lomborg
Slate.com

“Something amazing has happened,” said Bjorn Lomborg. This year, “carbon-dioxide emissions in the U.S. have dropped to their lowest level in 20 years”—down 14 percent from their peak in 2007. What wonderful “green” initiative is responsible for this dramatic turnaround? Fracking. Thanks to the natural gas boom created by drilling into shale formations, the U.S. has cut way back on its use of coal to generate electricity, and shifted to gas, which emits 45 percent less CO2. As a result, the nation’s CO2 emissions dropped by 500 megatons per year—about twice the total impact of the Kyoto Protocol on emissions throughout the rest of the world. By comparison, government investments in “renewables” like wind, solar, and ethanol have produced far less reduction in emissions. This breakthrough couldn’t have happened without decades of government-sponsored research into fracking technology. The lesson: To combat climate change, our best bet is “energy innovation” that will create new sources of energy—not artificial caps on emissions that haven’t worked anyway.

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