In her recent article (“As air pollution increases in some U.S. cities, the Trump administration is weakening clean air regulations,” May 2), Barbara Turpin acknowledged that air quality in the United States has improved dramatically since the early 1990s. Good for her – a lot of activists calling for action on climate change neglect to mention the fact that we’re making progress.
I wish Turpin would have gone into more detail about how we’ve made this progress. She mentioned natural gas, but only in passing. The truth is, it’s the increased usage of natural gas that has enabled the country to meet its clean air goals. Renewable resources, still too costly or unreliable for most consumers to rely on, are not yet a huge part of the energy mix. We cannot credit them with U.S. emissions declines.
To enable this progress to continue, we need to move to cleaner sources of energy like natural gas. Instead of focusing on the heavy-handed regulatory approach Turpin recommends, policymakers should create an environment (pun intended) where natural gas can thrive and help reduce emissions.