Natural gas is the 'real' green new deal - Carbon reduction targets are achievable
- Sep 20, 2019 5:06 pm GMT
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By Bernard L. Weinstein, Opinion Contributor — 07/31/19. Excerpts:
Early this year, with great fanfare, several members of Congress proposed a “Green New Deal” to battle climate change through a rapid and drastic reduction in the production and consumption of fossil fuels.
Consequently, the power generation sector, which is responsible for about 25 percent of GHGs in the U.S., has moved quickly to adopt natural gas. Electric utilities have shuttered more than 250 coal plants since 2010 and a dozen more will be closed this year. A decade ago, coal-fired generation accounted for about 50 percent of the electrons coursing through the nation’s power grids but by last year, that percentage had dropped to 27. No utility in the nation has plans to build a new coal plant.
Cheap natural gas, made available by hydraulic fracturing of deep shale, is the “real” green new deal that has made the U.S. the world leader in reducing carbon emissions. Though President Trump took us out of the Paris Climate Treaty, we will surely exceed the carbon reduction targets in that agreement, and well ahead of schedule.