Greenpeace report scolds Tennessee on emissions

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:24am

Tennessee is among the worst polluters of carbon dioxide emissions, according to a Greenpeace Report issued Wednesday.

The state has one of the worst records on per capita CO2 emissions, according to the “Greenpeace Report: America's Share of the Climate Crisis: A State-By-State Carbon Footprint,” released at a press conference in downtown Nashville. The document, from the international environmental advocacy group, measures cumulative CO2 emissions from the U.S. and other countries from 1960 to 2005.

When broken down according to total emissions over the time period, Tennessee ranked 17th in the U.S., with 4.713 million tons of CO2. If states are considered like individual countries, most states rank second only to Luxembourg in per capita emissions, a tiny member of the European Union. This includes Tennessee with 828 tons of CO2 per capita.

“[The Tennessee Valley Authority] has been pushing a little bit for different renewable projects, however most of our energy comes from coal,” said Greenpeace field organizer Edyta Sitko. “We are literally using 19th century technology in getting our electricity still by using coal.”

TVA estimates that 60 percent of its electricity comes from coal while nuclear generates 30 percent;  hydroelectric the rest.

Greenpeace is using the report to measure the U.S. output of CO2 in advance of climate meetings in December when nations gather to develop a new climate control treaty.

The group does not support nuclear power, saying it is too expensive and dangerous. Sitko said that Greenpeace is also supporting a variety of domestic measures to curb CO2, ranging from investing in renewable fuels to supporting a carbon-cap and trade system.

“It doesn’t mean that we have to change our lifestyle, it just means that we have to be smarter,” said Sitko, who was joined in Wednesday’s press conference by a local solar energy producer — Outpost Solar — that makes solar-power generators for remote locations.

The Pulaski-based company also wants to turn parking lots into power generators and is developing a prototype system that will place a series of solar panels in parking lots.

Sitko said that improving the nation’s electricity grid will be essential to store and transmit renewable energy to consumers.


7 Comments on this post:

By: sidneyames on 5/28/09 at 6:10

We need to watch these people like Greenpeace. Cow gas, sheep gas is all being looked into as polluting the universe. Look out. Your dogs and cats are next and they do pass gas, as well as your babies and small children. Never mind the old people. Whew! We're in trouble folks and it's not normal to constantly have to be told what to do. Next thing you know, Obama will appoint a Commision on Flatulence in America!

By: pandabear on 5/28/09 at 7:45

...or maybe he can start a campaign on "Ignorance in America". can be the "before" picture.

By: SirKnight on 5/28/09 at 12:43

Like anyone really cares what Greenpeace has to say!

By: courier37027 on 5/28/09 at 6:57

Watch it, Sirknight. You might catch a finger wagging and name calling from panda.

By: dnewton on 5/28/09 at 11:51

If CO2 is treated as a pollutant, it could be that the stimulus gravey train will be dry gulched by the eco freaks. Transportation money is really hard to get for new projects in non-attainment areas. Federal transportation funds would be withheld unless and until states produced implementation plans showing the attainment of conformity. The whole nation would be a non-attainment area... would it not? What plan could the local government come up with since the source of CO2 is global?

By: frodo on 5/30/09 at 9:10

If we strictly enforce the Kyoto Protocol to reduce man-made CO2, then we will have reduced total greenhouse gases by .035%. Natural variations in other greenhouses gases, like water vapor, can easily overwhelm that minute reduction.

And so Greenpeace wants us to wreck our economy for this?

By: kinduse on 6/1/09 at 8:43

frodo, dnewton, courier37207, sidneyames -

Have you told your children that you support climate change? That is what will wreck our economy and the future for our children. Today's Tennessean reports that ozone levels are too high today for kids to play outside. Greed and selfishness is spoiling the economy and environment for our and our children's future. For a million years carbon was at 300 parts per million -- today we've surpassed that and there's no end in sight. When tundra in Iceland and other parts of the world melts, methane will be added to the emissions -- do you want to wait until there's no turning back? I'm proud to say to my children that I worked to save the planet. I'm sorry for you.