Air | Energy | Ecotrope

The spill we haven't capped

Ecotrope | Aug. 5, 2010 1:01 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:48 p.m.

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So, we've got the BP spill capped. What about that other spill - you know, out of our tailpipes and smokestacks?

So, we've got the BP spill capped. What about that other spill - you know, out of our tailpipes and smokestacks?

Eric de Place at Sightline Institute’s Daily Score Blog dropped this bombshell after new estimates pegged the BP oil spill at 5 million barrels: The U.S. has a BP-sized leak of greenhouse gas every three hours.

Here’s how he put it:

“In fact, our carbon pollution is so huge that it’s like taking that 5 million barrels of oil, burning every drop of it, and then doing the same thing again every 2 hours and 41 minutes. We do it without stopping. We do it almost 9 times a day; 62 times a week; more than 3,000 times a year.

Fortunately, BP finally put a cap on the ongoing catastrophe in the Gulf. But the U.S. Senate, by contrast, has declined to put a cap on the bigger catastrophe.”

The U.S. Senate has tried and failed to pull together a cap-and-trade legislation on carbon emissions, and last month Senate Democrats’ announced that they would back away from a narrower climate bill that proposed limiting emissions from power plants.

A detailed story in the New York Times describes the fallout from that announcement.

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