Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently revived a long-running debate through claims that the United States leads the way in greenhouse gas emissions. Speaking to the American Legislative Exchange Council, the former Texas Governor declared, “The U.S. now leads the world in producing both oil and natural gas, and at the same time reducing energy-related emissions.”
Perry’s remarks are based on data proving the U.S. has been the largest producer of natural gas since 2011. In 2018, the U.S. also outpaced Saudi Arabia to take the top spot in global oil production. Perry suggests economic growth, especially in the oil and gas sector, does not need to be sacrificed in order to achieve CO2 emissions reductions.
According to Perry’s press secretary, Shaylyn Hynes, “The U.S. leads the world in actual energy-related emissions reductions by orders of magnitude compared to any other country since 2005.”
Figures from the International Energy Agency show the U.S. has cut carbon emissions by 758 million metric tons since 2005. This compares to 770 million metric tons for all 28 members of the European Union. The country that came in second place in absolute greenhouse gas emission reductions was the United Kingdom, with 170 million metric tons over the same period.