Clean, Green & Renewable Energy

WestBoundary Photography Chris Gill

In a greener, healthier world, we would conserve more, use the energy we have more wisely and efficiently, and rely only on sources of energy that are clean, renewable and tread lightly on the planet.

The question is, what concrete steps can we take to move closer to the world we want to live in? And given the current administration’s myopic preference for older, dirtier energy sources, where can we realistically take those steps right now?

100% Renewable, Go Solar, Go Big On Offshore Wind

Block Island Wind Farm, Deepwater Wind

Through our Clean, Green & Renewable program, Environment America, our network of 29 state affiliates, and our members and activists in all 50 states are running three campaigns:

100% Renewable: The shift toward 100% renewable starts locally. We’re asking more than 50 college campuses, a dozen key cities and half a dozen key states to lead the way.

Go Solar: Smart public policies are key drivers of the incredible growth of solar power. We’re working to promote and defend solar in multiple cities and states.

Go Big on Offshore Wind: The winds that blow off our Atlantic Coast could provide 40 percent of the electricity Americans use today. We’re asking the governors of six states to take the initiative.

The Environment America approach

Nicolas Kaviani, NK Artography

Each of these campaigns aims to accelerate our country’s shift to clean energy in unique ways. But they share a common approach. Each campaign strives to:

Put the environment first. A healthy environment isn’t the hoped-for by-product of a fossil fuel-driven prosperity. It’s the necessary precondition and only sustainable source of a sound energy system for America and our communities. Through our research and public education, we’re working to shift more hearts and minds over to this point of view.

Take a strategic approach. We must think big and act boldly, but we recognize that progress comes one step at a time. Our focus is on making a difference in public policy and in our lives and our environment, not just making a statement.

Build on what works. We’ve won policies that have resulted in more solar and wind power, cleaner air, and reduced global warming pollution in 25 states. We know which policies work, how they can be improved, and what it takes to win their approval. As always, we’re also open to new ideas that work even better.

Work together. We work to unite people from all across the political spectrum around clean, renewable energy, whether it’s farmers in Iowa who benefit from wind turbines on their land or the environmentalists in California who want to store and share the solar energy generated on their rooftops. Our advocates in Washington, D.C., lobby members of Congress from both parties. Our advocates in the states build coalitions that include business owners, doctors and nurses, religious leaders and people from all walks of life. Our organizers and canvassers engage literally hundreds of thousands of people. Our members and activists live in all 50 states.

What happens next

In the absence of national leadership, it’s up to us to convince our colleges, communities, states and others to help lead the way to a clean energy revolution — one that will conserve more of the Earth’s resources, improve the health of millions of people, and help stabilize the climate that makes life on our planet possible.

What happens next is up to us.

Issue updates

News Release | Environment America Research & Policy Center

New Report Ranks States and Power Plants for Mercury Pollution

According to previously unreleased data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania rank first, second and third among states for the highest emissions of mercury pollution from power plants. A new report by Environment America ranks states and power plants nationwide according to their emissions of mercury, and outlines the public health threats of mercury pollution. 

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Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Danger in the Air: Unhealthy Air Days in 2010 and 2011

All Americans should be able to breathe clean air.  But pollution from power plants and vehicles puts the health of our nation’s children and families at risk.  Ground-level ozone, the main component of smog, is one of the most harmful and one of the most pervasive air pollutants.  According to the American Lung Association, nearly half of all Americans – 48 percent – still live in areas with unhealthy levels of smog pollution.

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News Release | Environment America Research & Policy Center

New Report: Smog-Forming Pollution a Major Threat to Americans’ Health, Environment

Power Plants across the United States emit nearly 2 million tons of smog-forming pollution every year, with power plants in the top 11 most polluting states, including Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio, responsible for 50 percent of the total emissions of the pollutant, according to a new Environment America report, Dirty Energy’s Assault on Our Health: Ozone Pollution. 

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Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Dirty Energy's Assault on our Health: Ozone

Dirty energy pollutes the air we breathe, threatening our health and our environment. When power plants burn coal, oil or gas, they create the ingredients for ground-level ozone pollution, one of the main components of “smog” pollution. Especially on hot summer days, across wide areas of the United States, ozone pollution reaches levels that are unhealthy to breathe, putting our lives at risk. In 2009, U.S. power plants emitted more than 1.9 million tons of ozone-forming nitrogen oxide pollution into the air.

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News Release | Environment America Research & Policy Center

REPORT: Offshore Wind is Next Clean Energy Wave for Atlantic States

Up and down the Atlantic coast, states and offshore wind developers are making significant progress in advancing offshore projects, according to a new report. The report finds up to six gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind projects have been proposed along the Atlantic coast - the equivalent of about five coal-fired power plants and enough to power about 1.5 million average U.S. homes. Based on government analysis, the Atlantic Ocean has significant offshore wind potential, with over 212 GW of wind resources in shallow waters where current technology is best suited.

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