Seventeen Republican congressmen have signed a letter calling for “economically viable” reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. The media are painting this as a split within the Republican party and an intraparty challenge to president Donald Trump. Regardless of whether it is necessary to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the call for economically viable carbon dioxide restrictions is more likely to split the far left – rather than conservatives – from mainstream political sentiment.
The key to the congressional Republicans’ call for carbon dioxide reductions is that such reductions must be economically viable. As even center-left think tanks acknowledge, wind and solar power are not economically viable. What, then, would constitute economically viable means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions?
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Natural gas, hydro, and nuclear power offer reliable, on-demand power that is relatively cost-comparable to coal power. Since 2008, for example, inflation-adjusted electricity prices declined even though coal’s electricity market-share fell from 48% to 30%. Prices declined because low-cost natural gas filled the majority of coal’s lost market-share.
In addition to being less expensive than coal power, natural gas power cuts carbon dioxide emissions in half. It also cuts most other forms of emissions and air pollution by 70-90%. Natural gas power is dependable, affordable, and environmentally friendly.
The far left opposes natural gas, hydro, and nuclear power even though these three power sources are more environmentally friendly than wind power. Conservatives have long championed these three power sources because they are affordable and not nearly as environmentally problematic as the far left claims.
Moving forward, when some congressional Republicans call for economically viable measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, this presents conservatives with a golden opportunity to press the issue against the far left regarding natural gas, hydro, and nuclear power. True, we don’t believe humans are causing a global warming crisis, conservatives can explain, but we can nevertheless cooperate to remove impediments to natural gas, hydro, and nuclear power. These energy sources emit little or no carbon dioxide, are environmentally friendly in a full-spectrum environmental analysis, and will keep energy prices affordable.
The left-leaning media take great pleasure in painting some Republicans’ call for economically viable carbon dioxide reductions a split within the party and a challenge to president Trump. In reality, conservatives can and should use this as an opportunity to highlight the extremism of the far left and accentuate the wedge between the far left and mainstream political sentiment.
This article first appeared at Forbes.com.