Today, one in five Americans lives within just three miles of a Superfund toxic waste site. Contaminants of concern at these sites include arsenic, lead, mercury, benzene, dioxin, and other hazardous chemicals that may increase the risk of cancer, reproductive problems, birth defects, and other serious illnesses. Cleanup can take a decade or more, and decreased funding over the last 20 years has led to slower cleanups. To make matters worse, climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of storms such as hurricanes that threaten to impact toxic waste sites, which could spread the chemicals at these sites into surrounding communities. During the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, 810 Superfund toxic waste sites were in the path of a hurricane or tropical storm.
U.S. policymakers must use every practical policy tool to tackle climate change – promoting rapid deployment of renewable energy sources, investing in research and development of clean energy technologies and energy efficiency and taking regulatory actions to push polluters away from using dirty fossil fuels. A central element in this strategy should be putting a price on carbon pollution. This new report shows how carbon pricing can be used to push polluters to use energy more efficiently and shift from oil, coal and natural gas to clean, renewable energy.
Building a world powered by 100% renewable energy will make us both healthier and safer. To get there, we need to make simultaneous use of every source of renewable energy because each has its unique advantages and complements the others. For the United States, offshore wind energy is a largely untapped resource with many benefits – a key element of a future energy system powered by renewable energy. This report discusses technical potential for offshore wind in the U.S..
Plastic is everywhere and in everything. It’s used as packaging, it’s in food service products, and it’s in clothing. All told, Americans generate over 35 million tons of plastic waste every year, 90% of which is landfilled or incinerated.1 In fact, the U.S. throws out enough plastic every 16 hours to fill the Dallas Cowboys stadium, and that amount is increasing.
Environment America Research & Policy Center
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Environment America Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.