New Report: Michigan Global Warming Pollution Up 46% Since 1960
Call for Controls on Power Plants, Cars – the
warming pollution in Michigan
jumped 46% while almost doubling nationally between 1960 and 2001, according to
The Carbon Boom, a new analysis of
government data released today by the EnvironmentMichiganResearch
& PolicyCenter.Increased coal emissions and oil
emissions were responsible for 21% and 31% of this increase, respectively.
you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you should do is stop
digging.To protect future
generations from the effects of global warming, we need to stop this trend of
increasing pollution,” said Jason Barbose, field organizer for Environment
report calls for increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and curbing coal-fired
power plants, two hot topics in Michigan.Existing energy efficiency and renewable
energy technologies could substantially reduce global warming pollution, but
federal and state government have so far rejected mandatory pollution limits.
data compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, Environment Michigan’s new report examines trends in carbon
dioxide emissions and fossil fuel combustion nationally and by state between 1960
and 2001, the most recent year for which state-by-state data are
available.Major findings of the
emitted 129.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 1960; by 2001, the
state’s emissions had grown to 189.1 million metric tons, an increase of
emissions of carbon dioxide nearly doubled between 1960 and 2001, jumping from
2.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 1960 to almost 5.7 billion metric
tons in 2001, an increase of 95 percent.
dramatic growth in oil combustion in the transportation sector and coal
combustion for electricity generation fueled the rapid increase in U.S.
carbon dioxide emissions between 1960 and 2001.Increased coal and oil combustion each
accounted for 40% of the increase in carbon dioxide emissions.
increased oil combustion – largely to fuel cars and light trucks –
accounted for 31% of the state’s increase in carbon dioxide emissions
from 1960 to 2001.Vehicle travel
increased dramatically over the period, while the fuel efficiency of U.S.
vehicles stalled in the late 1980s.The number of miles driven on Michigan
roads increased from 32,608 million in 1960 to 98,987 million in 2001, an
increase of 136%.Increased
combustion of coal and natural gas contributed 21% and 48%, respectively, of
the state’s growth in emissions from 1960 to 2001.
early effects of global warming are evident in Michigan
and worldwide.According to NASA,
2005 was the warmest year ever recorded.Left unchecked, global warming threatens to substantially raise sea
levels, cause more frequent and extreme droughts and heat waves, and lower Great Lakes
could substantially reduce its global warming pollution by using existing
technologies to make power plants and cars more efficient and increase the use
of clean, renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, and
biomass, noted Barbose.“These are win, win solutions because they also would reduce our
dependence on oil, reduce air pollution, protect pristine places from oil
drilling and mining, and save consumers money,” he said.
companies – led by ExxonMobil – automakers, and most electric
utilities continue to fight common sense solutions to global warming, Barbose
pointed out.For instance, ExxonMobil
gave at least $15 million between 1998 and 2004 to groups working to confuse
the public about the broad scientific consensus on the causes of and solutions
to global warming.
the automakers have been effective so far in blocking increases in Corporate
Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) since 1975, although a Congressional vote is
expected this week.Moreover, Michigan’s
utilities are promoting a controversial proposal to build new coal-fired power
plants, an action that would increase Michigan’s
global warming pollution.
Yesterday, Rep. Henry Waxman (CA) introduced the Safe Climate Act, which provides a long-term, science-based solution to global warming.The bill requires the U.S. to reduce its global warming pollution by 15% from today's levels by 2020 and by 80% by 2050.To achieve these targets, the bill calls for improved energy efficiency and a greater reliance on clean, renewable energy sources, while providing companies flexibility in meeting the pollution-reduction goals through a "cap-and-trade" program.
Rep. Waxman commented that the report “shows state-by-state how the problem has been growing for decades.Now is the time to heed the scientists and start healing the climate.The Safe Climate Act will dramatically reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to the levels needed to avoid dangerous global warming.We start now and increase improvements over time, as we replace dirty old energy sources with clean renewable energy and energy efficiency."
the U.S. Senate, a sign-on letter on stopping global warming is
must take decisive action to stop the worst effects of global warming.We call on Senator Levin and Senator
Stabenow to sign the letter urging President Bush to support real reductions in
global warming pollution,” concluded Barbose.