Transportation is now America’s number one source of global warming pollution, with greenhouse emissions from cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles surpassing every other source. We simply can’t solve global warming without changing how Americans get around.
We live in a world of incredible material abundance, but we’re running short on nature. We want more places where we can hike, bike and jog among trees and wildflowers. We want more mountaintops where we can see nothing but forest below, more rivers that flow wild and free, more shoreline where all we can hear are waves. We want more wildlife in our world, from the grizzly on the ridgeline to the bee in our garden, from the wolf in the forest to the butterfly in our backyard. We want and need more, to paraphrase Emerson, of a world so beautiful that we “can hardly believe it exists.”
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?
In a greener, healthier world, all of us would treat our air and water as the precious life-giving resources they are, not as dumping grounds for our waste. Environment Texas Research and Policy Center takes concrete steps to move us closer to the world we want to live in, from holding illegal water and air polluters accountable to networking local citizens who serve as champions of the local waters they love.
To slow global warming, we need to change what we drive. We’re calling for all new cars and trucks to be electric by 2035. We know our leaders in Washington, D.C., are going the wrong way on this issue. That’s why our Clean Car Communities campaign is paving the way for cities and states to lead the way for cleaner transportation.
A report by U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group Written by Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Education Fund; Andrea McGimsey, Environment America Research & Policy Center; and J. David Lippeatt, Frontier Group
Americans are already experiencing the effects of climate change, from stronger storms, to more frequent floods, to worsening wildfires and more. And yet, Congress remains gridlocked when it comes to climate action.
There’s a tragic irony at the heart of that gridlock: Many of the elected representatives in Washington, D.C. who oppose climate action represent the very communities that lie in the paths of the hurricanes, floods and wildfires being turbocharged by climate change.
We all know someone affected by asthma, respiratory disease, or cancer: pollution can kill. Yet, every day, methane flares in Texas’ Permian Basin emit as much life-threatening pollution as 3 coal-fired power plants. Since 2013, oil producers have sent over 1 trillion cubic feet of fracked gas up in flames -- fouling the blue skies over Texas, wasting a finite resource, and emitting millions of tons of heat-trapping pollution. We’re calling on the Railroad Commission of Texas to keep our communities safe by ending flaring operations across our state.
The 2020 edition of a report by Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group
Written by Emma Searson and Bronte Payne, Environment America Research & Policy Center; Linus Lu; Tony Dutzik, Frontier Group DOWNLOAD THE REPORT
Environment Texas 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.