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

Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Building a Better America

We can save money and help solve global warming by reducing the amount of energy we use, including in the buildings where we live and work every day. More than 40 percent of our energy — and 10 percent of all the energy used in the world — goes toward powering America’s buildings.  But today’s high-efficiency homes and buildings prove that we have the technology and skills to drastically improve the efficiency of our buildings while simultaneously improving their comfort and affordability.

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Report | Environment America and US PIRG

Too Close to Home

The nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan last year drew a spotlight on the many risks associated with nuclear power. After the disaster, airborne radiation left areas around the plant uninhabitable, and even contaminated drinking water sources near Tokyo, 130 miles from the plant.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

America's Biggest Mercury Polluters: How Cleaning up the Dirtiest Power Plants will Protect Public Health

Power plants continue to release large amounts of toxic pollutants, including mercury, into our air. In 2010, two-thirds of all airborne mercury pollution in the United States came from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants. In other words, power plants generate more airborne mercury pollution than all other industrial sources combined.

Mercury is a potent neurotoxicant. Mercury exposure during critical periods of brain development can contribute to irreversible deficits in verbal skills, damage to attention and motor control, and reduced IQ.

> Keep Reading
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. 

> Keep Reading
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.

> Keep Reading

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