The Paris Climate Change Agreement has officially gone into effect for a few months, and it is already falling apart. Part of the reason is that President Donald Trump is taking a dim view of measures that will do little to affect carbon emissions and at the same time continue to put a damper on the economy. The attitude is likely to be shared by other countries that are part of the agreement that attempts to control carbon emissions by government fiat may have consequences, but those will mainly be political and economic.

The Trump administration is busily reversing many of the Obama era climate change induced initiatives, including approving the Keystone XL pipeline as well as more drilling of oil and natural gas and reining in the EPA. There is certainly no prospect of a carbon tax for the foreseeable future,

The Energy Economy is going to change, to the extent that it does, due to technological innovation and market forces and not due to government fiat, Innovations such as more efficient photovoltaic cells and Lockheed Martin Skunkworks’ fusion reactor will help any transition from fossil fuels rather than an unsustainable carbon tax.

To the extent that governments affect the energy economy, it will be in lifting regulations for technology such as nuclear power, as Congress proposes to do.

The thing about market forces is that they are on the surface more predictable than government dictates but more sure to happen when they go into effect. When the Obama administration assumed office in 2009, and the price of oil was bumping into the triple digits, it was confident that it would be able to start a renewable energy revolution.

Eight years later, the fracking boom has brought oil down to the $30 to $50 range and renewables have only advanced slowly, with conspicuous government failures such as Solyndra, Some bright spots for renewables have occurred, such as the wind energy revolution in business-friendly Texas, which should provide a lesson that letting the market work its will rather than trying to force change is usually the best approach.

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