A major victory has been declared for climate change, which could turn the tide on America’s promise to reduce its greenhouse emissions in keeping with its 2050 goal. A deal for a $369 billion climate and tax package was formed at the end of last month, the consequences of which would impact nearly every aspect of energy production in the US.
If effective, the deal would also allow the country to lower its energy emission levels by 40% by 2030. And although that’s not carbon neutral, it’s the biggest single climate investment in the history of the US, one which gives the country a fighting chance to reach its climate goals.
Of the massive package deal, $30 billion alone has been reserved for clean energy production. This includes wind, solar and the production of energy storage batteries, a breakthrough that has long hindered the success of a widespread eco-energy rollout. The programme will also include fines and further taxation on methane production to squeeze pollutants out of the atmosphere.
However, the conversion to this new ‘super green’ does have practical limits, one being the distribution of natural gases and energy sources. The bill will initially have to rely on support from big oil to make it a reality, with new oil drills in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska in planning. To offset this drilling, the bill includes a drive for carbon capture technologies to offset this activity, which won’t begin to show signs of seriously slowing for some time yet.
Overall, the bill seems overwhelmingly positive, with new sites already planned to tap natural gases. While some of the financial burdens will be undertaken by US taxpayers, the aim is to undercut the currently inflated oil industry with a renewable, cheaper source of energy. The use of evolving technologies and tax cuts should help this change come across more smoothly.
For now, many in Washington are silently congratulating themselves on finding a solution to what seemed a losing fight. Only the next few years will tell if this bill is ultimately successful.
Source: The New York Times
About the author - meet Earthan James McCulloch
James is a literary student and environmental enthusiast who likes thinking about the better futures we could have (and those we best avoid). When not playing with other people’s dogs or taking long, mindful walks, he’s usually found reading and writing, often at the local library. You can check him out on his blog for something a little different, where he talks about all things literary or otherwise.