Hydraulic fracturing, not government green policies, is causing carbon dioxide emissions to drop sharply in 47 states and Washington, D.C. according to both Scientific American and the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The total decline in carbon dioxide emissions is particularly evident in the energy sector due to a switch from coal power to natural gas. Natural gas emits about half the CO2 of coal power and is already cheaper than coal in many locations.
“The transition from coal to natural gas for electricity generation has probably been the single largest contributor to the … largely unexpected decline in U.S. CO2 emissions” says the research organization Berkeley Earth, concurring with more formal assessments from the Department of Energy.
As a result, the U.S. has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than any other country. Even the the Sierra Club acknowledges this, though it refuses to attribute the decline in emissions to natural gas and fracking, both of which it opposes. Total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by 1,022 million tons, making them significantly lower than their peak in 2007.
Other studies show solar power is responsible for 1 percent of the decline in U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions, while natural gas is responsible for almost 20 percent. For every ton of carbon dioxide cut by solar power, fracking cuts 13 tons.
Hydraulic fracturing of shale gas is creating an incredible amount of new natural gas production, making the United States the world’s largest and fastest growing producer of natural gas. The U.S. even surpassed Russia’s production earlier this year.
The only states to see their per capita carbon dioxide emissions increase are Nebraska, Arkansas, and South Dakota.
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