S.C. Climate action report starts its bureaucratic journey

Image by Flickr user akegImage by 20080922climatereport.jpg The state committee took a close look at the state to see how we can best save the environment without trashing our wallets.

Some big (and not-so-big) ideas about how to make the Palmetto State greener are making their first steps towards implementation.

The S.C. Climate, Energy and Commerce Advisory Committee has giver their year-in-the-making report to Governor Mark Sanford.

A press release from his office does a good job of summing up why he's asked for the report and what it does:
The governor has said he believes looking for ways to lead on this with ideas consistent with market principles rather than simple government dictate to be very important, given that if we do nothing Washington will be sure to fill in the blank with new government mandates. He has also said leading on this is important because the cost of inaction will be particularly felt in a variety of ways, ranging from insurance cost to ocean level rise on the coast of South Carolina. Among the report’s recommendations are:

- Carbon Footprint: A voluntary reduction in state carbon emissions to five percent below the 1990 level by 2020.

- Energy: Nuclear fuel reprocessing, focusing on bringing renewable generators to the state, and expanded use of net metering.

- Transportation: Expanded bike and pedestrian opportunities, alternative fuel infrastructure, more mass transit and carpooling options.

- Agriculture, Forestry and Waste Management: Forestland conservation and methane reclamation projects.

“We said from day one that it was important that neither extreme of the political spectrum dominate the discussion on climate change, which is why we appointed a committee with such a broad array of backgrounds and perspectives -- and more than anything, I want to thank them for their work,” Gov. Sanford said. “Some of these recommendations will make a whole lot of sense for South Carolina and others won’t. But we believe this report is an excellent place to begin the conversation and debate - and it is our sincere hope that many of these findings will be implemented in South Carolina.”

South Carolina’s gross emissions of greenhouse gases grew by 39 percent between 1990 and 2005, twice the national average of 16 percent, while the state’s per-capita emissions increased 15 percent over the same time frame. By 2025 greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase 87 percent over 1990 levels.

In addition to climate change, the report also talks about the importance of renewable energy. In 1970, the United States imported 24 percent of its oil, and today is importing nearly 70 percent. The United States consumes about 25 percent of the world’s oil production despite having only four percent of the world population.

We've also done lots of past reporting on what's in the report and who's making it.

Read the report here.