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How Ohio will save the world

Brennan Howell, June 16, 2015

At first, this title may seem absurd. While Ohio has contributed great things to the world, like flight, Thomas Edison and Jesse Owens, is the fate of the world really in Ohio’s hands? Well, probably. But, let me explain…

Lately, it’s become fashionable to play down someone’s contribution to global warming. First, people pretended global warming did not exist, then people claimed humans were not causing global warming, then these people, after being proven wrong again and again, are throwing up their arms and saying “Well, this is a worldwide problem, and we only contribute a little bit, might as well not do anything because doing something won’t matter.”

Ohio and the Clean Power Plan

But, doing something DOES matter, and our efforts in Ohio to reduce carbon pollution matter a lot. This is where the Clean Power Plan, and Ohio’s compliance with the Clean Power Plan, comes in. As a quick refresher, the Clean Power Plan requires reductions in carbon emissions from major power plants located within the state. Nationally, the Clean Power Plan will reduce carbon emissions by 30%.

The US EPA determined that using more renewable energy, becoming more energy efficient, using more natural gas and making coal plants more efficient are the most cost-effective methods available to reduce carbon emissions. As a previous analysis by the OEC has demonstrated, Ohio will have no problem easily, and cheaply, complying with the Clean Power Plan.

In order for the United States to reach its proposed goal of a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions,  Ohio itself must reduce its carbon pollution emissions by 28%, which relative to other states is a substantial amount. This is only fair since Ohio is one of the heaviest carbon polluters in the US. We can’t get to that overall 30% reduction goal without Ohio. And without the US, the rest of the world is in trouble.

The World and the Clean Power Plan

Making this goal even more important is the fact that various international agreements have been, and will be made, based on the US’s commitments to reduce carbon pollution.

The US reached an agreement with China recently to jointly reduce total greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide emissions. That agreement was predicated on the US fully implementing the Clean Power Plan and other important greenhouse gas reduction strategies.

In addition to the agreement with China, at the upcoming Paris International Conference on Climate Change, the US will use the Clean Power Plan’s projected reductions to demonstrate that we’re taking our role in global warming seriously, and other countries must as well.

If Ohio cannot make its pledged carbon pollution reductions, the US will likely not be able to make its pledged greenhouse gas reductions. And if the US can’t make its pledged greenhouse gas reductions, other international agreements may also fall apart.

Help Ohio save the world

While some may scoff at the idea that Ohio can play a role in fighting global warming, we have a BIG role to play. We are ESSENTIAL to compliance with the Clean Power Plan.

If you want to play a part in the fight, sign OEC’s clean energy pledge to tell Ohio leaders to support clean energy technology! Of all the routes to complying with the Clean Power Plan, clean energy is the smartest and safest option. Let’s make sure our leaders know this!