Monday, November 23, 2009

Where are all the big greenhouse gas emitters?

© 2009 Joshua Stark

In California, we now know. Last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) published the list of the biggest GHG (greenhouse gas) emitters in the state. This article from the San Jose' Mercury News does a good job talking to its importance. Unfortunately, it ends with a not-completely-true quotation:
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"The low-hanging fruit is to increase your efficiencies," he said. "Any time you can get more use out of natural gas, that will result in reduced greenhouse gas."

The "he" from that quotation is Tupper Hull, spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Association. Although I understand what he is trying to say, it does not capture the whole truth, and I thought it important to remind folks that more use out of natural gas will result in reduced GHG emissions only if it replaces higher-emitting fuels.

Now, if you were to ask Mr. Hull if he was suggesting cutting our use of petroleum in order to make his statement true, I suspect (though I don't know) that he'd have a difficult time agreeing, seeing as he is the spokesman for a petroleum association.

It's also important to note (as the Mercury News does) that the fifth largest GHG emitter in the state is a natural gas power plant at Monterey Bay.

Beware suggestions for increasing our consumption as a way to save the planet.

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