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Ironically, while leftists like Krugman rave on and on because conservatives like Rick Perry have the courage to question the supposed “consensus,” they appear to be blissfully ignorant of the fact that the United States has been and will continue to do exactly what they want: make massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Let’s assume for a moment that Krugman is right and that I and the thousands – and there are thousands – of other scientists that disagree with the alarmists are wrong. Let’s say that it is indeed vitally important for the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. What else do you want us to do? The fact is – and I am shocked that as clever a fellow as Krugman couldn’t be bothered to do a little research to figure this out – the United States has made massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and will continue to do so because of all of the programs that are already in place.
A simple check of EPA data shows that greenhouse gas emissions in America have dropped fourteen percent over the course of the last decade. China and India have more than made up for that reduction with increased emissions of course, but to perpetuate the myth that the United States isn’t doing its part is ludicrous. Is some of our reduction due to the great recession? Sure. But the fact is that regulatory initiatives already in place guarantee that greenhouse gas emissions in the United States will continue to drop for decades to come. Before they trot out the tired old idea that Republicans are “anti-science,” it would be nice if mainstream journalists spent some time understanding and reporting on what’s in place. For example:
• Thirty-three states have Renewable Portfolio Standards in place. These programs massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by forcing states to use less and less fossil fuel each year.
• Northeastern states banded together to put a regional cap and trade program in place that has been up and running since 2009, and consortia of Midwest and western states are working on their own cap and trade programs.
• The USEPA is going to start regulating all large greenhouse gas emissions sources under the Clean Air Act, and its permit program starting on July 1, 2011.
• By passing new, incredibly draconian ambient air standards and new regulations affecting power plants, Obama’s EPA has ensured that no new large coal-fired power plants will be built in the United States again, and that a significant portion of the existing fleet will shut down in the next decade or two.
• New CAFE standards will continue to drive down oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.
In spite of this, in spite of the massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that we have seen over the course of a decade, and in spite of the incredible reductions in air pollution emissions we have accomplished over the last forty years, it’s never enough for the environmental crowd. Of course it’s not. They have to keep moving the goal posts farther and farther back to keep themselves relevant. It’s the same old Sierra Clubs “the sky is falling” rhetoric. The fact is that Republicans like Perry are not anti-environment, they are rather sensible enough to recognize that the American people are sick and tired of signing off on every crackpot initiative that liberals expect us to accept just because they wrap a green bow around it.
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