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Climate and Energy Discourse in the US:What is the Path Forward?

16 June 2021


Climate and Energy Discourse in the US:What is the Path Forward? IEEJ:November 2019© IEEJ2019 IEEJ Energy Journal Special Issue November 2019 Climate and Energy Discourse in the US: What is the Path Forward? Kenneth B Medlock III* Background Energy and climate change are at the core of energy and environmental policy discourse in many countries around the world, and it is influencing the internati. [...] Coal’s precipitous decline over the last decade is a function of the age of the coal-fired generation fleet, and the scale at which new technology – renewables (wind and solar) and the extraction (shale) and combustion (combined-cycle) of natural gas – is altering the competitive landscape. [...] The last major build-out of coal generation capacity in the US was in the late 1970s through early 1980s, largely the result of energy security concerns that drove a preference for domestically produced energy sources, and the US is home to over a quarter of the world’s recoverable coal resources. [...] 2 Energy Consumption, Production and CO2 Emissions Source: Data from the US Energy Information Administration The oft underappreciated two largest sources of change in the global energy system over the last two decades have been the dramatic growth in US oil and gas production and energy demand growth in Asia. [...] Moreover, the abundance of oil and gas in the US has allowed the US to become a significant exporter of crude oil and petroleum products – exports to 109 different countries in 2018 at levels over 7 times that in 2000 – and natural gas – exports to 33 different countries in 2018 at levels almost 15 times that in 2000.