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Tuesday, December 25, 2007
NFL to plant trees in Arizona because of Super Bowl's effect

Associated Press

PHOENIX -- The NFL is planting thousands of trees in Arizona forests blackened by wildfires to help offset greenhouse gas emissions from the Super Bowl in February.

The league also will power University of Phoenix Stadium and the adjacent NFL theme park with clean energy sources, from New Mexico wind turbines to California geothermal plants.

"If creating a mess is part of our business plan, then cleaning it up needs to be part of the model as well," Jack Groh, director of the NFL Environmental Program, told the Arizona Republic. "Greenhouse gas obviously causes damage to the environment, and we need to be responsible."

But some say the league isn't doing enough.

While the reforestation effort will offset the 350 tons of greenhouse gas produced by the NFL's 3,000- vehicle ground-transportation fleet, the program fails to account for air travel by NFL staff, teams and the thousands of fans who will fly into the Phoenix area during Super Bowl week. The game will be played in nearby Glendale.

"It'd be nice to do something with air travel," said Gary Deason, acting director for Northern Arizona University's Center for Sustainable Environments. "At the same time, it's certainly a lot better than not doing anything."