US CO2 emissions peaked in 2000 and dropped significantly in 2008 as US natural gas production increased. CO2 emissions dropped over 16% since 2000. Natural gas is a US resource, produces no ash and can be turned on and off adding to reliability.
On President Biden’s first day he stopped construction of the Keystone Pipeline and reduced natural gas expansions. Tar Sands crude is shipped via CO2-emitting diesel-powered trains to the Houston refineries. Not being as self-sufficient in oil production as we were means more CO2 is produced by ships bringing oil and gas across the ocean. Increased oil prices begun by Biden and increased by Putin have caused an increase in new coal-powered power plants being built in other countries. One step forward and two back.
Modern manufacturing requires reliable power 24 hours a day. A solar power chart looks like an upside down bowl. Peak power needs are in the evening after most people get off work when solar power is declining to almost nothing. Wind is also intermittent, takes huge amounts of land and has a shorter life expectancy than solar. Solar and wind can be a supplement but they are not the final solution.
Nuclear energy is more important than ever. Generation IV nuclear is safer, uses less water, has a smaller footprint and can ramp up and down with intermittent renewables. Georgia is finishing a 2200 megawatt nuclear site. Wyoming is replacing a coal-powered plant with small modular Gen IV reactors.
EVs are promoted by our government. Companies like Siemens are concerned about grid readiness and the existing charger network is not reliable. California passed a law that no new fossil fuel cars be sold in California in 2035, yet cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco beg people to not charge their EVs in the afternoon.
Nothing about any of this energy transition is simple. We are fortunate to live in a state that has reliable electrical power.