HANGZHOU, China — Mostly unnoticed amid the political brawl over climate change, the United States has undergone a quiet transformation in how and where it gets its energy during Barack Obama's presidency, slicing the nation's output of polluting gases that are warming Earth.
As politicians tangled in the U.S. and on the world stage, the U.S. slowly but surely moved away from emissions-spewing coal and toward cleaner fuels like natural gas, nuclear, wind and solar. The shift has put the U.S. closer to achieving the goal Obama set to cut emissions by more than a quarter over the next 15 years, but experts say it is nowhere near enough to prevent the worst effects of global warming.
The overlooked changes took center stage Saturday in China. Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping entered the world's two worst polluters into a historic agreement to ratchet down heat-trapping pollution. Obama hailed "the investments that we made to allow for incredible innovation in clean energy."