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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Climate Change In Ohio: Guv Wants Hybrids, CO2 Cut

COLUMBUS (TDB) -- Gov. Ted Strickland signed an executive order today that sets his administration on a green course by noting "mounting environmental concerns" and the nation's over-dependence on foreign energy resources. Strickland specifically cited persistent energy security risks because oil comes from dangerous parts of the globe. It was the Democrat's second executive order. His first tightened ethics rules.

He did not try to downplay scientific warnings about global warming.

Strickland said he wants a tool for audits to measure the "carbon footprint" of energy consumption in state government. Carbon dioxide gas from burning fossil fuels is suspected of causing Earth's climate to warm by enhancing the so-called greenhouse effect. He also ordered state agencies to cut energy use soon by 5%, and wants them down 15% by the time his term ends in 2011. Strickland ordered the state vehicle fleet to start acquiring alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrids.

Strickland said the state should lead by example, and these paragraphs from the order, EO 2007-02S, strongly convey his intent:

"iii. The tool for measuring energy consumption will include means of calculating each organization's 'carbon footprint' which demonstrates the impact our activities have on climate change by calculating the green house gas emissions produced by daily activities and reporting those emissions in units of carbon dioxide.

"iv. Each state agency, board, and commission is directed to conduct a statewide energy audit of its respective facilities, both owned and leased. This audit will use the tool developed by the Department of Administrative Services to facilitate comparisons between similar facilities and should be completed by June 2007.

"v. Upon completion of his energy audit, each state agency, board, and commission is directed to achieve and overall reduction of 5% of building energy use for its facilities within the first years or the next biennium and 15% by the end of four fiscal years."

The entire text of the order is HERE.

Strickland also appointed Mark Shanahan, executive director of the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, as his energy advisor. There is additional information from the governor's office HERE.

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