Thursday, January 15, 2009

Carbon Bigfoot: 2009 Inauguration Expected to Generate More Than a Half-Billion Pounds of CO2

/PRNewswire/ -- Next week scores of celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone, Sting, and Steven Spielberg are all expected to flock to the nation's capitol, many by private jets, to the historic inauguration of Barack Obama. The swearing-in extravaganza will surely be the largest yet and is seeing ballooning costs and a major environmental footprint.

In a report released today, the Institute for Liberty (IFL) utilizes data from federal agencies, environmentalist organizations, and news accounts to extrapolate the estimated environmental impact for the 2009 Inauguration. IFL estimates that, given the millions of people expected to converge on the nation's capital. IFL concludes:

-- The 600 private jets expected to fly visitors to and from the event
will produce 25,320,000 POUNDS of CO2
-- Personal vehicles could account for 262,483,200 POUNDS of CO2
-- In the Inaugural parade, horses alone will produce more than 400
-- The total carbon footprint for the Inauguration will likely exceed 575
million POUNDS of CO2
-- It would take the average U.S. household 57,598 years to produce a
carbon footprint equal to that of the new president's housewarming

The Inauguration of President Obama is truly an historic occasion that should be celebrated," said IFL President Andrew Langer. "However, it would be very hypocritical for the scores of celebrities, VIPs and political elites to lecture on environmental policy to middle America and small businesses that are merely trying to survive in these difficult economic times, and then turn around and contribute to the half-billion pounds of emitted CO2. This is a celebration -- DC's small businesses, and thus DC's working families, are going to greatly benefit from this event. The rest of America should share in that opportunity."

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