24. Bill to Raise Speed Limit in Wisconsin to 70 Miles Per Hour Would Add to Already Steep Pace of Global Warming
Just a day after Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill raising the speed limit on rural highways in his state to 70 mph, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc, on Tuesday called for the same thing in Wisconsin
. Such a bill would promote burning more fuel per mile driven in the state, because gas mileage usually rapidly decreases each mile driven faster over 50 miles per hour.
The result of burning more fuel in motor vehicles driven in the state would result in increased amounts greenhouses gases, such as carbon dioxide, from the transportation sector of the state, leading to higher rates of global warming.
Illinois was the 35th state to increase speed limits since Congress allowed it in 1995, doing away with widely ignored federal speed limits of 55 mph on most roads and 65 mph on rural roads. The federal speed limit law was passed to reduce fuel consumption after the 1973 oil embargo.
An international team of scientists has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could rise by more than 3 feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace.
A 3-foot rise would endanger many of the world’s great cities — among them London; Shanghai; Venice; Sydney; Miami; New Orleans; and New York.
The international scientists’ summary of the next big U.N. climate report largely dismisses a recent slowdown in the pace of warming, which is often cited by climate-change contrarians, as probably related to short-term factors. The report emphasizes that the basic facts giving rise to global alarm about future climate change are more established than ever, and it reiterates that the consequences of runaway emissions are likely to be profound.
The Wisconsin bill would have to pass the Senate and Assembly, and be signed by Governor Walker, before taking effect.
Tittl’s proposal has the backing of Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who has said he wants a vote on the measure in September.
While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph.