by Mitch Hescox & Alexei Laushkin
The hottest July on record, drought plaguing almost two-thirds of the US, and Arctic sea ice at historic low levels. God’s creation needs a little good news and we just got it. US carbon pollution is declining with emissions at their lowest point in 20 years. With that the US has made deeper and faster cuts in carbon pollution emissions than any country in the world over the last 6 years. It’s not enough to avert the moral challenges that are and will be associated with climate change, but it’s a bigger start than anyone expected.
No one was predicting this, but like we’ve been saying all along the American entrepreneurial spirit drives change. Investment in natural gas, as a transition fuel, and with the soon to be released Fuel Economy Standards leading to cars that are more efficient, plus LEED building standards, and more sustainable products are putting us on the onramp to a clean fuel highway. Americans are tired of waste, wasteful spending and wasteful energy use.
What we need now is a comprehensive energy strategy, a roadmap that incentivizes renewable energy and home grown clean energy jobs. We need America to lead the clean energy market. Let’s make America the center of a new revolution for industry instead of maintaining our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels.
Photo by Denise Krebs
Natural gas puts us on the starting blocks for what will be a marathon toward a clean energy economy. Its’ current cheap price makes for the perfect transition fuel for achieving our initial carbon pollution reductions and clean air goals. The EPA’s proposed new standards for methane will mitigate most drilling and transportation leakage issues, but hydraulic fracturing remains a significant human health concern. Yet, there are simply too many unknowns to complete an informed safety judgment on fracturing. Simply put natural gas is part of the solution, but it can’t be the only path toward our clean energy renaissance.
When we recover from our economic doldrums (which we will!), Americans have a fundamental choice to make. Will we make smart investments in clean home grown technology or will we rely on the same old fossil formulas?
We need a real investment in our clean energy manufacturing base and an energy policy that helps us solve the moral challenges of climate change. We’re a can do people, a hopeful people. Americans are waiting to show the world that we can have free-prosperous societies that don’t perpetuate pollution and undermine the livelihoods of others who rely on clean air, clean water, and a stable food supply to provide for their families.
Americans want fuel abundant, cheap, and clean. Until technological efficiencies can kick in we need to count the cost of our over reliance on pollution intensive energy.
Others will find a way to develop clean abundant energy; we believe America should get there first. If we can win the race for clean energy we will have provided for the next generation of Americans manufacturers and sent the signal that you can choose for democracy and freedom without undermining the ability to provide for your family. We can solve the challenges of our time while cherishing and protecting our freedoms. The dirty fossil economy spewed dangerous toxins polluting God’s creation. Let’s start a new race on a new road toward a clean energy future that provides a healthy environment for our children and our economy. Natural gas brought us to the starting line will we jump into the race to win or will this just be another false start?
Rev. Mitch Hescox is the President & CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network. Alexei Laushkin is the Senior Director of Communications for the Evangelical Environmental Network.