These are grim times for the climate campaign, as we’ve noted here repeatedly. Cap and trade failed in the Senate, and isn’t ever coming back. The White House pre-emptively ruled out a carbon tax. The EPA, according to several reports, is going to miss a deadline this Friday on the next step in its coal-killing regulatory agenda, apparently because it has noticed that its proposed rules are unlikely to survive a court challenge in their form. And the UN’s Kyoto Protocol process has entered its full zombie mode, still walking around undead but incapable of sentient cognition.
But the real capper is that the United States actually achieved its (unratified) Kyoto Protocol target without the help of environmentalists. In fact, we hit the Kyoto target in spite of environmentalists—it’s entirely the result of the fracking natural gas boom that environmentalists wished had never happened and are retrospectively trying to roll back. Coal-fired power is being rapidly supplanted by cheap gas-fired power, which has half the CO2 emissions as coal per BTU of energy. If environmentalists had their way, CO2 emissions might actually go back up, because we’d switch back to coal.
Of course, whether the U.S. ought to be trying to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions beyond what normal technological advances and market forces are delivering is debatable. (Actually, it’s hard to avoid this tiresome debate.) But this dubious achievement merits giving the United States a coveted Power Line Green Weenie Award.