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Science & Medicine

President Obama announces plans to cut carbon emissions

A Purdue professor thinks the framework of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan is the right course of action. Dr. Maureen McCann is director of the Energy Center at Discovery Park.

She says addressing carbon emissions, preparing for climate change and leading international efforts are the right things to do.

“The position of the U.S. as the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide emissions means that we’re a major player in this. If we take a leadership role, then other countries are more likely to follow.”

McCann says the country’s carbon dioxide emissions have declined sharply over the past year, because of increased use of natural gas, instead of coal.

While critics say the president’s plan will be too costly to the coal industry and coal-producing states, she thinks there’s an economic opportunity to grow renewable energy technologies.

McCann says Purdue researchers are developing such things as more efficient buildings, advanced bio-fuels, and sensors that measure wind turbine reliability.

“A whole range of activities and research that are looking toward sustainable and renewable energy. Also, the interactions of energy with climate, with the environment, with water and food security in our Global Sustainability Institute.”

McCann thinks there could be a huge impact in manufacturing and job creation if the United States wins the clean energy race. She says China and Germany already are making significant investments in developing these types of technologies.

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