A recent American Thinker article pointed out that: “Over the past six years, the United States has reduced its carbon emissions more than any other nation in the world.” The shocker for those who have been advocating “going green” is that this success did not comes about as a result of the usual policies promoting yet more government control over the economy:
Efforts to curb so-called man-made climate change had little or nothing to do with it. Government mandated “green” energy didn’t cause the reductions. Neither did environmentalist pressure. And the U.S. did not go along with the Kyoto Protocol to radically cut CO2 emissions. Instead, the drop came about through market forces and technological advances, according to a report from the International Energy Agency.
Breakthroughs in how natural gas is extracted from underground shale formations were the key factors that led to the reductions, the report said. Natural gas has a low carbon footprint and is widely available in the United States. As a result, entrepreneurs are flocking to extract it from new areas.
“It’s good news and good news doesn’t get reported as much,” John Griffin, executive director of Associated Petroleum Industries of Michigan, said of the lack of reporting about the CO2 reductions. “The mainstream media doesn’t want to report these kinds of things.”
Elsewhere in the article, Rep. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, a member of the House Energy and Technology Committee, said that the reason why the media is not covering this story is that “It doesn’t fit their narrative.” That narrative is that we need to expand the role of an already overbearing government if we want to achieve anything. The idea that positive results are often more likely to be achieved by allowing the creative process of economic freedom to work its magic is directly counter to this narrative of a top down society run by government bureaucrats.
Natural gas by itself is only part of the answer to our energy needs as there are other plentiful sources of energy ready to be extracted with the use of new technology. A big part of the hold up comes in the form of federal regulations that are restricting the extraction of domestic energy sources on federal land. Ironically, despite the green record of free market approaches to energy and the environment, many of these regulations are being upheld in the name of the environment. Yes, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.