Nov 24, 2015

Let’s Get Serious

President Obama uses a lot of his energy disparaging American energy production. In fact, earlier this year he said climate change is a “serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to national security” while Secretary of State Kerry said climate change “can now be considered the world’s largest weapon of mass destruction.” To combat what they perceive as the grave threat of climate change, the Obama Administration has advocated for a massive slate of regulations on our economy that would drastically reduce the reliability and affordability of the energy that powers our lives.

Looking beyond the fact that these statements about the national security risks of climate change are absurd in the face of the resurgence of Islamic terrorism, Russia’s continued aggression, China’s military buildup, and a host of other problems facing the world, the Administration’s prescription ignores the great progress already being made in the way we produce and consume energy.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) conducted new analysis, finding that from 2005 to 2015, our energy usage was becoming more efficient while producing less carbon, even as our population and GDP per capita were increasing. How is this possible? It wasn’t regulations or mandates that caused this efficiency. The secret is actually in America’s increased production of natural gas.

As the EIA writes,

“The industrial sector experienced an overall decline in energy-related CO2 emissions of 11 MMmt in 2014 despite a 13 MMmt increase in natural gas emissions. Because natural gas has the lowest carbon intensity of the fossil fuels, higher use of natural gas meant that more energy was being delivered with fewer overall emissions.”

If the President really cared about reducing emissions without wrapping weights around the neck of our economy, he wouldn’t be pushing costly regulations. Instead, he would embrace the hydraulic fracturing revolution produced largely by the free market. Then, the President could focus his national security strategy on what really matters—not reducing carbon emissions, but defeating and destroying ISIS.

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