The Obama Inauguration's Carbon Footprint

Obama inauguration will have the carbon footprint of the average house . . . over 57,598 years.

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By Sam Dealey, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Team Obama says reducing the carbon-dioxide emissions that result from burning fossil fuels will be a priority, and some careless talk suggests his EPA will eschew carrots for the punitive stick of regulation and taxes. Now the good people over at the Institute for Liberty have punched back with a carbon-footprint estimate for the Obama inauguration itself.

Using data from the EPA, environmentalist organizations, and various news accounts, the group estimates more than 500 million pounds of CO2 will be released during the four-day inaugural festivities. Among the offenders:

  • 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.
  • The horses in the parade will produce more than 400 pounds of CO2.
  • And if you don't have an idea what a pound of CO2 really means, consider this: The average household would take 57,598 years to produce as much CO2 as Obama's inauguration.

    Its warnings about the huge carbon footprint notwithstanding, the Institute for Liberty stresses that it doesn't mean to rain on Obama's parade. "We don't believe this [CO2 production] is a problem," says the group's president, Andrew Langer. "We believe people should use energy. But the point is, if Obama's administration is going to go after small business for its carbon footprint, then maybe they should look at themselves first."

    Still, Langer admits the study isn't entirely accurate. "We haven't looked at the methane or CO2 that will be expended by people standing on the mall," he says.

    • Read more by Sam Dealey.
    • Read more from the Thomas Jefferson Street blog.
    • Read more about the inauguration.