United States shows natural gas is the common sense solution to emissions

Crew works on laying natural gas pipeline.

If we were all guided by common sense, we would have far fewer disputes and far more constructive policies.

Take the debate over pipelines, for example.

Those in opposition to pipelines advance the idea that their construction, in effect, encourages the use of fossil fuels and, therefore, is bad and should be opposed.

I understand the reasoning, but it’s wrong because its base assumptions are wrong.

The first assumption is that the transition to renewables must be done over the course of a few decades, not as quickly as possible.

The second assumption is that all fossil fuels are bad, which is, again, is patently false. From the perspective of CO2 emissions and pollutants, not all fossil fuels are the same. Coal is “dirtier” than natural gas.

That’s the reason why the United States is far closer to meeting its commitments under the Paris Accord despite withdrawing from it under President Trump.

The US is now more than half way toward reaching the 30 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions mandate under the Paris Accord. By 2025, CO2 emissions will be 28 per cent lower than they were in 2005.

In fact, the US has reduced its CO2 emissions on an annual basis by almost as much as the entire European Union since 2005.

That is no mean feat and it was made possible because of cheap natural gas replacing coal.

All of which should teach the opponents of natural gas pipelines in Canada a thing or two.

By fighting against their construction, the opponents are actually making it harder for those countries to use a cleaner source of energy – natural gas rather than coal.

Unfortunately, it’s all or nothing for the ecofanatics. The world must go 100 per cent renewable tomorrow and that’s all there is to it.

Well, renewable energy has its place in the energy mix but it will never replace fossil fuels entirely.

The sooner the fanatics can come to grips with that reality the sooner we can all start to agree on energy and climate policies that actually make sense – common sense.

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