by WorldTribune Staff, November 1, 2018
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 2.7 percent in President Donald Trump’s first year in office, the Environmental Protection Agency announced on Oct. 31.
“Thanks to President Trump’s regulatory reform agenda, the economy is booming, energy production is surging and we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions from major industrial sources,” said Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the EPA.
“These achievements flow largely from technological breakthroughs in the private sector, not the heavy hand of government,” Wheeler said. “The Trump administration has proven that federal regulations are not necessary to drive [carbon dioxide] reductions.”
Per-capita greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. fell to a 67-year low this year, according to the Energy Information Administration, “but such landmarks have been largely overshadowed by Trump’s attack on regulations and his plan to leave the 2015 Paris climate accord,” Valerie Richardson noted in a report last month for The Washington Times.
Major environmental groups took to social media to dismiss the EPA’s report as “lies” and “misinformation.”
Andrea McGimsey, Environment America senior director of global warming solutions, predicted the trend of reducing emissions would reverse under Trump.
“They are actively working to roll back our nation’s best climate programs,” McGimsey told The Washington Times. “As a result, we’re going to have more of these emissions in the future.”
The American Petroleum Institute credited the shale gas revolution – fracking – with driving U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to a 25-year low.
“Americans have the cleanest air in decades due in part to the increased use of natural gas to generate electricity, demonstrating that environmental protection and economic growth are not mutually exclusive,” said Howard Feldman, the institute’s senior director of regulatory and scientific affairs.
Meanwhile, global carbon dioxide emissions hit record highs last year after rising by 1.6 percent. China had the largest increase of any nation, according to the June 2018 BP Statistical Review of Global Energy.
Many European nations are reportedly struggling to meet their emissions reducing goals under the Paris climate accord. Germany, considered a climate leader, has announced that it will miss its 2020 target of reducing emissions by 40 percent.
“While many around the world are talking about reducing greenhouse gases, the U.S. continues to deliver, and today’s report is further evidence of our action-oriented approach,” Wheeler said.