The May 9 article in the State Journal “Global travel hurting environment” reported the carbon footprint of tourism is growing due to increased travel activity.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. transportation sector (including freight) now accounts for more greenhouse emissions than the entire U.S. electricity generation sector, as of 2016. The transportation sector relies overwhelmingly on petroleum for its energy, with very small contributions from biomass and electric energy.
The transportation sector’s utilization of energy is one of the least efficient in our economy. According to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, nearly 80 percent of the energy released in transportation activity is lost or wasted by inefficiencies in the design of our transportation technologies. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, with support from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, and President Donald Trump, is taking steps to further diminish the efficiency of the transportation sector by rolling back the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for motor vehicles.
If Congress sets a rising price on carbon emissions, citizens will reduce unimportant travel, select efficient vehicles and support clean energy for travel. A federal carbon fee and dividend program deserves thoughtful consideration by members of Congress.
Bruce Beck, Madison