Report on Tampa's greenhouse emissions creates concern

The problem may be getting worse before it gets better.

Activist Cathy Harrelson from St. Petersburg says the report shows that the solution to this problem is a win-win for the local economy, as she advocates energy retrofits, transit options and solar power, among other things the city can do to reduce its carbon footprint.

But how viable is that? Though meaningless now, it should never be forgotten that the city of Tampa's residents voted for the transit tax for light rail less than a year ago. Despite that result, the county's influence prevailed as it went down to a huge defeat, and HART is working hard to maintain just a slight reduction of service.

And the Trib's Wade reports that things don't look like they'll change without doing something radical in the immediate future:

Tampa, with more than 335,000 people, is estimated to grow by an estimated 21 percent between now and 2025, according to the study.

Meanwhile Tampa's community-wide greenhouse gas emissions could rise to nearly 12 million tons by 2025, a 32 percent increase from the 2009 levels.

On WMNF's Last Call program Wednesday afternoon, the Sierra Club's Phil Compton said a big part of the problem is transportation, saying without many choices other than driving a car, all Bay area citizens are contributing to the smog levels. He mentioned the fact that there were 22 bad air days in 2010 in Tampa (You can hear that program by clicking here).

Recently the American Lung Association gave Hillsborough County an "F" for its ground-level ozone pollution.

The Tampa Tribune's Christian Wade blew some minds on Wednesday in his front page story regarding the fact that the carbon footprint from the city of Tampa is comparable to cities such as Boston, Baltimore and Seattle- cities whose population is roughly twice their size.

The majority of the city's emissions comes from gas, coal and other fossil fuels, prompting the director of USF's Office of Sustainability to surmise "That's a shocking number."

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