Right Under Our Feet
Mark Green, API Energy Blog, June 25th, 2019
Ten years ago this month the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill died in Congress, and many still argue for a legislative solution to the challenge of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Happily for the United States, there’s a solution right under our feet – one that has led the way on emissions reductions, eclipsing what supporters of Waxman-Markey projected for their proposal, while fueling American economic growth and a range of consumer benefits. It’s natural gas. Together with advanced technologies, many of them innovated by our industry, abundant natural gas has been the agent for progress on multiple fronts. In the decade since Waxman-Markey, we’ve seen increased use of natural gas in fueling power generation become the primary reason U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are at their lowest levels in a generation.
How Democrats came to oppose natural gas
From the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Energy:
LABOR AND GREEN GROUP ALLIANCE ENDORSES NET-ZERO EMISSIONS BY 2050: The BlueGreen Alliance, whose members include the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club, released a platform called “solidarity for climate action” that presses for a national strategy to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for the U.S. by 2050.
Their agenda includes “major” investments in domestic manufacturing and innovation, modernizing U.S. infrastructure, and a commitment to at least doubling funding of clean technology research, development, manufacturing, and deployment, including on carbon capture and storage.
The group also encourages increasing union participation throughout the economy, including in the clean technology sector. Unions have generally been skeptical of the Green New Deal and other aggressive decarbonization plans because of the potential to displace fossil fuel workers, so the endorsement of the BlueGreen Alliance for net-zero emissions is a big deal.
“Progress on #ClimateAction must include labor & environmental advocates agreeing on a path forward,” said Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., the chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s climate change subcommittee, in a Twitter post. “I applaud @BGAlliance for their work and I look forward to teaming up with its members to advance meaningful climate progress that lifts up American workers.”