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MI Makes "Big Ten" in New Pollution Report

December 12, 2007

Detroit, MI – Michigan is in the "Big Ten" when it comes to greenhouse gas pollution, according to a new report that compares the emissions of individual states to pollution levels in developing countries.

Michigan generates as much pollution as 91 other countries, which are home to almost 600 million people. Report author Peter Altman, with the National Environmental Trust, says even countries growing as fast as China don't keep pace with the total amount of climate change pollution coming from the United States.

"It's because we have been the greatest contributors to the problem that we need to be the ones to start cleaning up the global warming mess."

Altman says reducing greenhouse gas pollution should be viewed as an economic windfall.

"The idea that dealing with climate change will sink the economy is nonsense. There are so many opportunities that get created when a massive new investment of this scale has to take place."

The report says states can help with laws and policies, and Michigan is working on pollution reduction targets. Critics of the effort say government interference and additional regulations could hurt businesses.

Deborah Smith/John Robinson, Public News Service - MI