President Biden set an ambitious goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. NumbersUSA, a single-issue organization, takes no position on Biden's climate plan. But whether you support the president's plan or not, we can tell you that emissions will not be cut in half by 2030 under current immigration levels.
NumbersUSA's Scientific Director, Leon Kolankiewicz says:
For those who care about the consequences of U.S. carbon emissions, it matters a great deal whether the U.S population remains at 330 million, or is pushed by immigration to more than 400 million by 2060 and more than 500 million (half a billion) by 2100. It also matters that, by settling in the United States, immigrants, on average, increase their carbon emissions by 400 percent over those of their countries of origin."
To illustrate the importance of population, Leon notes that Chinese per capita carbon emissions are only about 40% of Americans', but China's total emissions are twice that of the United States because it has so many more people.
Another example, closer to home: The average resident of Dallas contributes far more CO2 traffic emissions than the average resident of New York City. But guess which metro area has the greater total emissions? It's New York, because it is the most populous metro area.
Some politicos argue that we need even higher immigration levels to fill the good paying, green jobs that the administration hopes to create. Nevermind that there are two million fewer Americans working today than before the pandemic. Nevermind that there are six and a half million Americans who would be working today if we got our labor force participation rate back to where it was in just the year 2000. Nevermind that only one-third of STEM grads wind up working in STEM fields today, or that Black and Hispanic STEM graduates remain woefully underrepresented in Big Tech.
Instead of writing off those American workers, we should invest in them.
Instead of swelling the ranks of our non-working population while adding tens of millions of high-consuming Americans, we should moderate our immigration levels as every blue-ribbon commission that studied the issue has recommended. This would make our economy more fair and our environment more stable.
JEREMY BECK is a V.P., Deputy Director for NumbersUSA
Updated: Thu, May 11th 2023 @ 3:23pm EDT