Reducing greenhouse gases would help economy,
U-M study says
May 23, 2007 Tina Lam - McClatchy-Tribune
Regional News - Detroit Free Press
A yearlong study by students and researchers
at the University of Michigan said the state could
reduce greenhouse gases 12% while at the same time
adding $380 million to the economy and creating
3,400 new jobs if it required more renewable energy.
An inventory of greenhouse gases,
which trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute
to global warming, showed Michigan's greenhouse
gases rose 9% between 1990 and 2002. The state has
a chance to lower those and jump-start new businesses
that create clean energy such as wind power, said
Rosina Bierbaum, dean of the U-M's School of Natural
Resources and Environment. Cutting greenhouse gases
and economic growth are compatible, she said.
The study said the state could add
jobs by requiring utilities to get 20% of their
energy from renewable sources like solar and wind
power by 2025, tightening standards for energy efficiency
of new homes and appliances, and requiring urban
buses and government-owned cars to use at least
some biofuels. The state could also offer tax credits
for developing renewable energy.
The study's authors presented the
information Wednesday to the House Energy and Technology
Committee in Lansing.
Jim Sygo, deputy director of the Department
of Environmental Quality, said since there is a
lack of leadership at the federal level, the state
needs to act.
"Clearly, whoever positions themselves
to develop clean new energy will be in the forefront,"
Bierbaum said. Congress is considering bills that
would require an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases
nationally by 2050.
Michigan is one of 21 states that
have no climate action plan. In 2002, when Michigan's
greenhouse gases were last measured by U-M, 33%
were from producing electricity, 26% from cars and
trucks, and 17% from industry.
Contact TINA LAM at email@example.com.