States Work to Salvage the Lost Years
Programs enacted this decade will lead to significant emissions cuts
The Bush years—a seemingly endless era in which those concerned about the planet’s fate found themselves arguing with a table, to appropriate the words of a silver-tongued Massachusetts congressman—aren’t typically remembered for good efforts to combat global warming.
But a new report by Environment America—"America on the Move"—contends those lost years, thanks to states (not the Bush administration), may actually prove themselves a critical period in our national efforts to lower carbon pollution. The report estimates that states like California, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and many others initiated programs during those years that will lead to a reduction of more than 500 million tons of global warming pollution by 2020.
The projected amount, approximately 7 percent of total domestic emissions in 2007, is no small thing, roughly equivalent to the collective annual emissions of more than 100 million cars.
Sam Edmondson was a campaign manager on air toxics issues from 2010 until 2012. He helped organize the first 50 States United for Healthy Air event. His desire to work at an environmental organization came from the belief that if we don't do something to change our unsustainable ways, we are in big trouble.