Solar energy is on the rise. America has more than three times as much solar photovoltaic capacity today as in 2010, and more than 10 times as much as in 2007. In the first three months of 2013, solar power accounted for nearly half of the new electricity generating capacity in the United States. The price of solar energy is falling rapidly, and each year tens of thousands of additional Americans begin to reap the benefits of clean energy from the sun, generated right on the rooftops of their homes or places of business. America’s solar energy revolution has been led by 12 states – the “Dazzling Dozen” – that have used public policies to open the door for solar energy and are reaping the rewards as a result.
As Rhode Islanders get ready to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend for first-of-the-summer-road trips, a new Environment Rhode Island Research and Policy Center report finds that cleaner, more fuel efficient cars would cut our gasoline use in half, reducing pollution and saving Rhode Islanders money.
Environment Rhode Island's new report, “Gobbling Less Gas for Thanksgiving: How Clean Car Standards Will Cut Oil Use and Save Americans Money,” uses regional Thanksgiving travel projections released by AAA to estimate how much less oil would be used—and how much money would be saved at the gas pump—if the average car taking those trips in Rhode Island this Thanksgiving met the 54.5 miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency standard the Obama administration is proposing for new cars and light trucks by model year 2025.
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. In order to better protect public health, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should issue a new air quality standard to reduce ground-level ozone pollution.
This report reviews recent trends in several types of extreme weather, the impacts caused by notable events that have occurred since 2005, and the most recent scientific projections of future changes in extreme weather.
America has virtually limitless potential to tap the energy of the sun. Solar energy is clean, safe, proven and available everywhere, and the price of many solar energy technologies is declining rapidly. By adopting solar energy on a broad scale, the nation can address our biggest energy challenges—our dependence on fossil fuels and the need to address global warming—while also boosting our economy.