Arizona's Growth Fueled Air Pollution

PHOENIX, Nov. 13 (UPI) — Arizona’s booming population growth polluted its air at a faster rate than any other state between 1990 and 2007, researchers said.

The amount of carbon dioxide pollution from automobile exhaust and electric power generation in Arizona grew 61 percent between 1990 and 2007, researchers for the advocacy group Environment Arizona said Thursday.

That increase was more than three times the national average, The Arizona Republic reported Friday.

Carbon dioxide, which contributes to respiratory illness, is the most common of greenhouse gases researchers say are increasing temperatures and changing Earth’s climate.

Air pollution levels could be reduced by increasing renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and by more closely regulating coal-burning power plants, Environment Arizona spokesman Bret Fanshaw said.

“More pollution than ever before isn’t a record we want to set,” Fanshaw said. “It’s time to take back control of our energy future. We can drive the economy without driving up pollution.”

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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