The Atlantic states are uniquely positioned to forge a clean, independent energy future. The region’s current dependence on fossil fuels has far-reaching and devastating impacts —– affecting residents’ health, draining their pocketbooks, causing air and water pollution, and warming the planet. Many Atlantic states have already become leaders in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that create jobs, lower energy costs, cut pollution, and reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuels. These efforts will greatly benefit people and wildlife for generations to come.
The transportation sector accounts for nearly two-thirds of the more than 19 million barrels of oil consumed each day in the United States. The largest percentage is consumed by passenger cars and light duty trucks, such as SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks. Requiring automobile manufacturers to meet strong global warming pollution and fuel efficiency standards represents the greatest opportunity to cut America’s oil consumption, reduce global warming pollution from the transportation sector, and deliver important economic benefits to both consumers and businesses – including saving Americans billions of dollars at the pump.
We can save money and help solve global warming by reducing the amount of energy we use, and the best place to start is in the buildings we live and work in every day. Over 40 percent of our energy – and 10 percent of all the energy used in the world – goes toward powering America’s buildings, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
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.
Our natural landscapes provide us with places of great beauty, and they also play a critical role in providing habitat for wildlife along with clean water, fresh air and recreational opportunities for Americans.
Environment Maine 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.