Good News About Carbon That Republicans Are Also Denying

Jonathan ChaitAll of these innovations have allowed the economy to decarbonize quickly without imposing noticeable costs on consumers. The coal industry is in a state of collapse. In just the last year alone, its share of US electrical generation fell from 36 percent to 28 percent. The four largest American coal-mining firms, which were worth a combined $34 billion five years ago, are now worth $150 million — a loss of more than 99 percent of their value.

In recent years, natural gas (which emits much less carbon than coal) has accounted for most of the decline. But the electricity sector is rapidly transitioning into zero-carbon sources. Solar and wind accounted for more than two-thirds of all new electric capacity last year. As these technologies rapidly grow cheaper and more efficient, their spread is accelerating. By the end of 2016, the US solar market will be ten times as large as it was in 2010.

—Jonathan Chait
Climate Change and Conservative Brain Death

7 thoughts on “Good News About Carbon That Republicans Are Also Denying

  1. Excellent. Coal companies need to die. Like Michael Moore’s statement at the end of his film “The Big One,” one evil empire down, one to go.

    If it would help with the comment thing (it’s baaaack!) I do have a Google email lying around here somewhere.

    • Yeah, I saw. I just put things back. Email me your other address and I will put it under your user account. I’m not sure it matters, but just in case you need to get contacts.

  2. Peabody Energy is so devalued it is talking about bankruptcy. Oil doesn’t have to be burned to be useful, so those assets are less easily stranded. But, progress. I’m probably going to get solar put on my house. Sell power in the day and buy at night. Hopefully we replace the coal plants with gas.

    • Hopefully your electric company has an option where you can sell excess energy your solar panels provide during the day. This is common in places like Germany.

        • Wonderful. I’m always astounded when we aren’t embracing incentives like that which appear to be no-brainers. Then again, we do leave far too many policy decisions up to private companies with monopolies, legal exemptions from anti-collusion laws, and/or limited government oversight. So they can be vastly stupid.

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