If California claims to care about fighting climate change, then legislators should follow the science. So says District 1 State Senator Brian Dahle.
In an email from Dahle to media outlets, the senator writes, “According to a recent New York Times article the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, a European Union-financed agency which estimates emissions based on satellite measurements, estimates California wildfires emitted 75 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in just three months— between June and August 2021.”
Those fires create massive air pollution. Consider these statistics.
Seventy-five million metric tons of carbon dioxide is equal to:
- 16,310,993 passenger cars driven for a year (Greenhouse Gas – GHG);
- 188,489,840,317 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle (GHG);
- 8,439,293,350 gallons of gasoline consumed (Carbon Dioxide Emissions – CO2);
- 82,896,993 pounds of coal burned (CO2); and
- 173,640,855 barrels of oil consumed (CO2).
Senator Dahle’s bill, SB 495, would have required the California Air Resources Board to include greenhouse gas emissions from wildlands and forest fires in its scoping plan. Tragically, legislators killed this bill in committee, because they would rather just study the issue.
“Wildfires have been scientifically proven to be the largest threat to clean air due to the massive amount of black carbon and harmful pollutants they expel into the air. CARB does not include these emissions in quantifying carbon capture and sequestration projects, despite having knowledge of statistics that prove the carbon output of wildfires,” said Dahle.
Watch Dahle address legislators on SB 495 at dahle.cssrc.us/content/sen-dahle-argues-wildfires-emissions-are-more-harmful-air-quality.