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Scientists and policy makers are calling Climate Change the most important issue of the 21st Century.

The largest contributor to CLIMATE CHANGE is the burning of fossil fuels.

The world’s combination of cars, trucks, trains, airplanes, and ships consume a significant proportion of the fossil fuels we burn each year. About 30% of the energy used in the U.S. supports transportation needs.

Transportation choices make a difference in both overall fuel consumption and green house gas production.

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Great Lakes Vessels and Fuel Efficiency

TON-MILES PER GALLON is a useful measure for comparing the efficiency of modes of transportation.  A ton-mile per gallon reflects the amount of fuel required to move one ton of cargo, one mile.

At times, a Laker (one of those Panamax-sized vessels in the Great Lakes, also known as a thousand-footer) can attain nearly 1,000 ton-miles per gallon. A single ship operating in the Great Lakes can move 2.7 million ton-miles in a single season.

It would take a continuous line of trucks stretching from Detroit to Chicago to transport the same amount of cargo carried by one Laker.