As international leaders prepare for the United Nations Climate Summit next week in New York, a new study shows America’s power plants dump as much carbon pollution into the air any other country’s entire economy except China. Environment Arizona Research & Policy Center pointed to the report as evidence for why the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for the nation’s first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants is a critical step in the international fight against global warming.
Solar energy is on the rise. Over the course of the last decade, the amount of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the United States has increased more than 120-fold, from 97 megawatts in 2003 to more than 12,000 megawatts at the end of 2013. In the first quarter of 2014, solar energy accounted for 74 percent of all the new electric generation capacity installed in the United States. The cost of solar energy is declining, and each year tens of thousands more Americans begin to reap the benefits of clean energy from the sun, including energy generated right on the rooftops of their homes or places of business.
The “Wasting Our Waterways” report shows that industrial facilities dumped millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s waterways. In response, the Environmental Protection Agency is considering a new rule to restore Clean Water Act protections to thousands of waterways across the nation.
Solar power is on the rise across the country. The United States has more than 200 times as much solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed today as it did in 2002. With solar module prices coming down, increasing national awareness of solar energy, and a growing legion of solar businesses large and small, solar power is emerging as a mainstream energy solution with widespread benefits for our health, our economy and the environment.
American leadership in the fight against global warming is crucial. America is the world’s largest economy, the second-largest emitter of global warming pollution, and the nation responsible for more of the human-caused carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere than any other. Without prompt action to reduce emissions of global warming pollution, catastrophic impacts – from coastal flooding to food system disruptions – could become unavoidable. On behalf of future generations, America has an obligation to act.
Environment Arizona Research & 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 getting things done.