As the 50th “Earth Day” approaches, Americans should celebrate our environmental successes and pay tribute to the key drivers that lead towards a healthier environment.

WASHINGTON DC (February 25, 2020) –The Institute for Energy Research (IER) has released a short, four-minute video and accompanying report, highlighting the true state of our environment and the significant role that human ingenuity, free markets, and technology play in America’s improved air quality.

According to the EPA, between 1970 and 2017, U.S. gross domestic product increased 262 percent, vehicle miles traveled increased 189 percent, energy consumption increased 59 percent, and U.S. population increased by 44 percent. During the same time period, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants dropped by 73 percent.

Despite increased use of our natural resources in almost every sector, U.S. measurements of air pollutants are lower today than 50 years ago. How this monumental – yet often misunderstood – success took place is at the center of IER’s newest educational initiative.

Please take four minutes of your time to watch this video and breathe a little easier knowing that Americans have done an incredible job at improving and protecting our environment.

IER’s research draws from two models – the Environmental Kuznets Curve and the Environmental Transition Hypothesis. Thomas Pyle, President of IER, issued the following statement following the announced roll out of the Breathe Easier campaign.

“While we must always strive to do better, sometimes a little perspective goes a long way. Economic development and environmental quality are not at odds with each other, and the false choice being presented by the green left is flat out misleading. Instead of celebrating the good news of our improved air quality and living standards, the green lobby and their political allies are bombarding Americans with doomsday scenarios that severely discount the power of human ingenuity in protecting our environment.”

“While some may want to cite environmental regulations and mandates as the only road to America’s improved air quality, it is quite clearly that human ingenuity, free markets, and modern technology is cleaning up our nation.”

“Americans understand that governments don’t solve problems, people do. Some of the proposals coming from Congress or being touted by the Democratic presidential candidates would needlessly wreck our economy and deny opportunities for those on the lower end of the economic ladder with little or no environmental improvement in return. We should let human ingenuity, free markets, and technology continue to drive environmental improvement, not energy bans, taxes, or other political schemes designed to dictate our energy choices from Washington, D.C.”

“On this upcoming Earth Day, we should be celebrating our environmental success, not demonizing American energy workers. The fact is, we can all breathe a little easier knowing that America’s economy and environment are better than ever.”

Dr. Bob Murphy, Senior Economist at the Institute for Energy Research, added the following:

“If a society starts out on the edge of starvation, then its people – even the children – will toil on farms and in factories, and they won’t waste money installing filters on smokestacks. But as they grow richer, they shift away from these methods of production.”

“A rich, modern economy can afford to produce large quantities of food, electronics, energy, and houses without pumping soot into the air, and without requiring adults to work 80-hour weeks or kids to fill the factories. The path to such progress is saving and capital accumulation, so that workers have better tools and equipment and thus a higher productivity per hour of labor. If we take a society on the verge of starvation and simply pass laws prohibiting the business practices certain observers find distasteful, we won’t magically make these people more productive. Instead we will condemn them to death.”

“As people grow richer they can afford the luxury of a cleaner environment.”


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