More than 1.5 million acres off the Atlantic coast have been designated for offshore wind power development, enough to produce more than 16,000 megawatts of electricity and power more than five million homes, according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation. “Catching the Wind: State Actions Needed to Seize the Golden Opportunity of Atlantic Offshore Wind Power,” also contains a new analysis showing how the strong, consistent winds offshore can provide power to Maine right when we need it most – and, at the same time, cut energy costs and air pollution here in Maine.
For the last decade, the world’s largest oil corporations have developed one of the most extensive industrial operations in the world: the extraction and processing of tar sands (natural bitumen) in northeastern Alberta, Canada. Tar sands oil (diluted bitumen) is more carbon intensive than conventional oil and nearly impossible to clean up when spilled into waterways.
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.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a central strategy in the Northeastern states’ efforts to protect the region from global warming. The program, which took effect in 2009, has succeeded in cutting carbon dioxide emissions and demonstrating the effectiveness of cap-and-trade as a global warming solution while helping to sustain a growing regional economy. Now, nine Northeastern states are considering strengthening RGGI to drive additional reductions in global warming pollution. Strengthening RGGI would be a “win-win” for the Northeast, making an important contribution toward protecting the region from global warming while speeding the transition to a clean energy future.
After another year in which many parts of the country were hit by hurricanes, scorching heat, devastating wildfires, crippling drought, severe storms and record flooding, a new Environment Maine Research & Policy Center report finds that weather-related disasters are affecting hundreds of millions of Americans and documents how global warming could lead to certain extreme weather events becoming even more common or more severe in the future.
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.