Like many environmentalists, I was dismayed when the Senate failed to pass a cap-and-trade bill two years ago. It looked like we would never get our act together to reduce greenhouse gases. Get ready to have beachfront property in Vermont, I thought.
But it turns out our greenhouse emissions dropped anyway, from 6 million metric tons to 5.2 million — the lowest level since 1992. We even beat the European Union, where the Green Party actually has members. So how did we do it? One big reason, ironically, is a Texas oil man named T . Boone Pickens, who perfected the art of squeezing natural gas out of shale rock by blasting huge quantities of water at it.