America’s current fleet of gasoline-powered cars and trucks leaves us dependent on oil, contributes to air pollution problems that threaten our health, and produces large amounts of global warming pollution. “Plug-in” cars are emerging as an effective way to lower global warming emissions, oil use, and smog. A plug-in car is one that can be recharged from the electric grid. Plug-in cars come in two types: plug-in hybrids that are paired with small gasoline engines, and fully electric vehicles that consume no gasoline at all.
Far from being a solution to global warming, nuclear power will actually set America back in the race to reduce pollution. Nuclear power is too slow and too expensive to make enough of a difference in the next two decades.
merica’s reliance on fossil fuels—oil, coal and natural gas—for energy creates a host of problems, including air and water pollution, global warming pollution, high and unpredictable bills for consumers and businesses, and the need to import oil from unstable parts of the world.
Moving to clean energy—such as solar and wind power, more efficient homes, and plug-in cars—will cut pollution, help rebuild our economy, and reduce America’s dependence on oil.
For decades, America’s use of fossil fuels— and the global warming pollution that results—has been on the rise nationally and in states across the country. But this trend is starting to change in some states—in part because of the move to clean energy.
Following the lead of those states will start to put the United States on a path to lower global warming emissions and help drive the creation of a clean energy economy.
Humans need very few things to survive: air, shelter, food, and water. Fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas) pollute the air with smog, soot and global warming pollution, but their effect on water is often overlooked. Natural gas, which the industry touts as the “cleanest of all fossil fuels,” threatens to dirty drinking water with toxic chemicals used in drilling. Rivers, lakes and groundwater already face threats from industrial pollution, agricultural runoff, and overdevelopment. Adding an unnecessary threat to one of the most valuable resources is dangerous. The government must act to safeguard drinking water.
Texas can reduce its dependence on dirty, dangerous and expensive fossil fuels by adopting new, high performance home designs. Using energy-efficient technology and smallscale solar energy systems, homes can be built to generate as much energy as they use, achieving “net-zero energy” performance.
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 getting things done.