Here's the good news, such as it is, for the climate: American coal consumption plunged last year, reaching its lowest level since 1975, as electrical utilities switched to cheaper natural gas and renewables. Over the past decade and a half, coal's collapse has saved tens of thousands of lives nationwide, according to new research, and cut national greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 10 percent.


The bad news is almost everything else. Outside of the power sector, the country's planet-warming pollution continued to grow last year. Almost three decades after climate change first became a political issue, the American economy remains a continent-sized machine that guzzles fossil fuels and excretes money.


"We see nothing currently planned at the federal or the state level that is going to put the U.S. on track for the Paris Agreement target," Trevor Houser, an author of the report and a partner at the Rhodium Group, told me. "It is still possible to reduce emissions fast enough to meet that target, but it would require a rapid and ambitious change in federal climate policy."

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