As the City of Detroit faces a looming decision about the future of its incinerator and waste management, the Detroit Free Press has published a series of debating op-eds on the greenhouse gas implications. My op-ed recommends that the city stop using the incinerator for many reasons, which now includes the potential regulatory cost of millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Not surprisingly, the op-ed by the private company that operates the incinerator (and wants Detroit to keep using it) offers a different view, hoping that greenhouse gas emissions from the incinerator will be exempted from future federal regulations.
From the Detroit Free Press introduction:
Here are two points of view on the incinerator in Detroit from the perspective of its impact on greenhouse gases, the emissions implicated in climate change and control of which is currently under debate in Congress.
Noah Hall, a Wayne State University professor who specializes in environmental law, warns that fees imposed on greenhouse gas emissions could prove costly for incinerator operations (link).
John Waffenschmidt, vice president for environmental science at the company that operates the incinerator, argues that greenhouse gas emissions are actually fewer at such a facility compared to landfilling trash and that Congress is likely to treat waste-to-energy facilities as an alternative energy source (link).
Updated on June 17, 2009 with short responses to the op-eds: