April 22, 2016

TAX WHAT YOU DON'T WANT:

On Earth Day, we can celebrate being the only country to significantly reduce CO2 emissions -- thanks to fracking (Mark J. Perry, 4/22/16, AEI)

[T]he big story has been the reduced dependence on coal as an energy source for electric power, and the resulting huge reduction of CO2 emissions from coal used to generate electric power - those emissions were lower last year than in any year since 1984, more than 30 years ago (EIA data here).

Over the last decade, coal's share as an energy source for electric power has fallen from 50% to 33%, and the majority of that reduction is a direct result of the increased use of natural gas as a substitute for coal. And the increased production of natural gas that facilitated that substitution for coal and reduced CO2 emissions for electric power was a direct result of the revolutionary technologies of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that accessed the oceans of shale gas that were previously unrecoverable with traditional drilling technologies. Over the last ten years, natural gas as a fuel source for electricity increased from 18.7% to 32.7%, a 14 percentage point increase. Reflecting the abundance of cheap shale gas, natural gas as an energy source for electricity, for the first time ever in US history, surpassed coal as an energy source for electric power in each of the last six months of 2015.

Posted by at April 22, 2016 4:03 PM

  

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