In 1970, President Nixon created the EPA to regulate air and water pollution, significantly reducing pollutants and improving our health over the years (below I shared a few striking pictures from Business Insider: our cities before the EPA). The Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, giving the EPA the power to fight air pollution. Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the Clean Air Act does not give the EPA authority to regulate carbon emissions from power plant energy production. Since the 1990s, energy production from power plants have been the largest single source of carbon emissions, accounting for about 31% of all greenhouse gas production.
The University of Michigan's Center for Sustainable Systems offers a detailed look at an individual's carbon footprint and how we can each reduce ours. Given that energy production accounts for the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions, there is one way to reduce our carbon footprint more productively than any other single option:
If you own your home and your home qualifies for solar, you can displace more than 3 tons of carbon emissions each year, that otherwise would have been produced by your local power plant. A small 6 kW system will produce more than 189,000 kWh of emissions-free electricity over 30 years, the equivalent of 115 metric tons of C02 displaced (this includes the environmental impact of panel manufacturing). This is the equivalent of planting more than 100 trees: a single tree absorbs about .6 tons of carbon over its lifetime. With solar, the larger the system, the more carbon is displaced.
Now that the EPA is not able to fully regulate the largest producers of carbon emissions, the impact of a single solar array is even more significant, and one individual's contribution is more important than ever.
According to Business Insider:
In 1965, a study by New York City Council found breathing New York's air had the same effect as smoking two packets of cigarettes a day.
In 2016, a report released by New York University said 41 people living in Delaware still die because of air pollution every year.
Own your power and control your future. Solar provides protection against inflation, reduces your carbon footprint, gains value as energy prices skyrocket, and puts money back in your pocket.
If you're interested in learning more and exploring solar options for your home, please contact me for a free consultation. We will review your electric bill, your home's energy efficiency, and potential solar array designs for your home. I will answer all questions and help you make the best decision for your family.
Jamie Duncan, Solar Consultant, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Cabarrus County, Iredell County, Union County, Gaston County, Lincoln County, Catawba County
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