What You Should Know

The United States has consistently led the world in technological development to address new challenges. Improving the environment and addressing climate change is no exception.

Importantly, while many assume that improvements in the environment and cleaner energy use solely refers to increased use of renewable energies, like wind and solar, American environmental improvements have included utilizing low-carbon sources like nuclear, making traditional energy sources cleaner and more efficient, as well as expanding the use of renewables.

In the 1940s, Americans invented nuclear energy in Illinois. Just two decades later, American engineers were working to apply nuclear energy to commercial power production. Oil and gas entrepreneurs in Texas developed hydraulic fracturing in the 1960s, which paved the way for our natural gas boom. Renewable energy has been a fast developing sector: wind and solar power provided 0.11 percent of our electricity in 1995 but provide more than 17 percent today.

Americans should be proud of this progress. The United States has taken, and should continue to take, a balanced approach to improving the environment and reducing our carbon emissions, which is making our environment cleaner, as well as ensuring our country has access to reliable and affordable energy