ADDREssiNG HuMANINDuCed ContribuTIONs to climate change

Based on energy consumption data from Energy Information Agency released June 1, 2007, Ohio's total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion in million metric tons for 2004 were 261.96, made up of contributions by source from: commercial, 11.43; industrial, 38.08; residential, 20.30; transportation, 71.16; and electric power, 120.98.

Ohio joined the Climate Registry, a voluntary national initiative to track, verify, and report greenhouse gas emissions, with acceptance of data from state agencies, corporations, and educational institutions beginning in January of 2008. Ohio legislators in the 2007-08 General Assembly will be considering a bill to form the Ohio Climate Commission to study impacts of global warming on the state, to recommend the appropriate state response to global climate change and associated impacts. Ohio has a long shoreline on Lake Erie, but the lake's water quality deteriorated so badly as a result of industrial and urban wastes that the fish population has declined. Efforts by the United States and Canada to clean the lake have shown results.

Current regulations in place require Ohio electricity suppliers to provide their customers with periodic environmental disclosure labels at the beginning of each calendar year, with quarterly disclosures in March, June, September, and December comparing actual environmental data and projected data. These disclosures indicate the generation resource mix and environmental characteristics associated with the electricity for which the customers are paying. Information supplied by the U.S. Department of Energy for 2005 indicated electric generation in Ohio originated from the following resources: 87 percent coal, 9 percent nuclear, 2 percent natural gas, 1 percent petroleum, and 1 percent hydroelectric and renew-ables. Although Ohio has historically relied to a great extent on coal-fired generation, the majority of new facilities constructed in Ohio over the past few years have been natural gas-fired. In addition, the Ohio Biomass Energy Program (OBEP) has been working to promote the use of biomass in Ohio.

sEE ALsO: Biomass; Ohio State University; Pollution, Water.

BIBLIOGRApHY. Mark Bowen, Thin Ice: Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World's Highest Mountains (Henry Holt and Co., 2005); W.A. Lyons, The Handy Weather Answer Book (Visible Ink, 1997); Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, www.puco.ohio.gov (cited November 2007).

Lyn Michaud Independent Scholar

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