Posted on December 13, 2021 by Rich Powell
This op-ed was originally published by Story Partners on January 13, 2021. Click here to read the entire piece.
When you hear that climate change is real, and industrial activity around the globe is the dominant contributor, you may assume the messenger is a Democrat or environmental organization. But, today, it’s also coming from leaders in the Republican party and most oil and gas companies.
Climate change is not partisan, and the challenge it poses to society merits significant action at every level of government and the private sector. Climate solutions shouldn’t be partisan either.
We must all think globally when approaching this challenge. The simple reality is this: unless we limit and reverse the rapid growth of emissions in the developing world, which now accounts for the majority of emissions and future emissions growth, we will not solve this challenge. The vast majority of those emissions come from the way energy is produced and consumed.
To build and maintain support for enabling this global clean energy transition, we also need to find solutions that are good for the U.S. economy. Far too often, people talk about the energy transition as a set of trade-offs between the environment versus the economy, but there doesn’t have to be a trade-off. If we pursue a high-cost transition to clean energy at home and weaken our competitiveness, we will actually harm global decarbonization by moving more of our manufacturing capacity abroad to countries that emit more per unit of production.
Maintaining competitiveness means making clean energy cheaper, not making traditional energy more expensive. The shale gas revolution is a prime example. When we developed techniques to effectively produce shale gas, with significant assistance from federal government policy in a public private partnership with the early shale pioneers, we suddenly had a commodity that was both cheaper and cleaner than coal-fired electricity. This transition decreased power sector emissions by more than 30%. That’s faster than the partisan Clean Power Plan or the Waxman-Markey bill would have reduced emissions. In the end, it was technology, innovation and bipartisanship that delivered better solutions. And it’s important to remember the durability of bipartisan policies – they are a clean and clear signal for the private sector to invest.
Click here to read the full article