Comes now the conundrum as to whether former Vice President Joe Biden, Democrat candidate for President, is supportive of or opposed to fracking.
Allow me to kill that suspense for you — he opposes fracking, but is prepared to say whatever is necessary to obtain the most votes, which is a typical politician’s response and Mr. Biden is a politician.
Beneath the knee jerk on-again, off-again, political flip flopping is the notion that fracking is related to CO2 emissions. That turns out to be true.
But what is really happening out there as it relates to CO2 emissions and fracking?
1. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have said that they will deliver a “carbon neutral” US by the year 2035, a goal far more ambitious than even California.
2. Much — some? — of this planned progress is supposed to come from banning fracking for natural gas.
3. This sets up a vexing problem — if fracking for natural gas and the use of natural gas adds to the difficulty of creating a “carbon neutral” US, how could Joe Biden NOT be opposed to fracking?
How can it be credible that he supports fracking — even if you could overlook hours of video of him and Kamala promising to do away with fracking?
4. In fact, the use of natural gas in power generation dramatically reduces the carbon footprint of power plants that formerly used coal.
In this context you want to explore for natural gas and use it to make energy, electrical energy. This means you want to frack, to support fracking if you are serious about a reduced carbon footprint. You do NOT want to ban fracking.
California can’t keep the damn lights on because they are running out of electrical power generation capacity and where are we going to get all the electricity for our electric vehicles?
Come on, man, Big Red
OK, let’s dig into some actual numbers — these ones are from the Wall Street Journal.
1. Total US CO2 emissions in 2019 declined by 2.8%. Declined.
2. CO2 emissions from coal — 2007 to 2019 — declined by more than 50% with 2019 declining by 15%. Wow.
See, free markets work. If coal is dirty and expensive, then the free market is going to use natural gas in its place. Free markets, not government intervention.
3. During the time period 2016 – 2019, natural gas electricity generation share increased from 33.7%to 38.1%, while non-carbon generation (nuclear, renewables) went from 35.5% to 38.1%
Coal based power generation declined from 30.3% to 23.3%. Re-read those numbers. They are all headed in the right direction without government intervention.
Bottom line it, Big Red Car, don’t have all day
OK, let me tell you what the International Energy Agency had to say:
The United States “saw the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 on a country basis” due to its 15% reduction in the use of coal for power generation.
“US emissions are now down almost 1 Gt (gigatonne) from their peak in the year 2000, the largest absolute decline by any country over that period.”
How did this all happen you ask? The Trump admin pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord and its expensive, unworkable process while simultaneously easing Obama-Biden executive orders and regulations.
The US allowed free markets to work their magic.
It is a very simple thing to understand.
But, the real bottom line is this: The United States, post Paris Climate Accord pullout, currently leads the world in CO2 emission reductions.
And, that is how the fracking cow ate the cabbage on this 11th day of October in the Year of our Lord 2020. God bless us all.