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How We Protected Your Health
and Environment in 2012
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NRDC is driven by a simple principle: the environment and human welfare should be protected.
We are in the business of pragmatic innovations that transform markets and change the laws of the land. We work with those who would help us move to a sustainable future and we sue those who poison our people or lands. We fight the fights that are too important to lose.
We are strategic. Our most pressing challenges -- like climate change -- are multidimensional and global. To begin to solve them, we gather the world's experts in science, law, the environment, and politics and create blueprints for practical solutions.
We are both visionary and pragmatic. We come up with policies to protect people and the environment and then use science, political influence, and our legal prowess to turn these ideas into policy and law.
We get results. Our solutions reform thousands of companies, change the behaviors of millions of people, shift the flow in capital, and redirect technological innovation to clean processes. We measure the results in cleaner air and water, more responsible industry, and preserved and thriving wild spaces.
6 billion metric tons: Amount of carbon dioxide pollution eliminated when the Obama Administration tightened greenhouse gas emission standards and fuel efficiency for cars sold nationwide. The new standards were a result of the pressure mounted by a NRDC-sponsored bill passed in California in 2002 and eventually adopted by 13 more states. Read More
Nearly 1,200 heat records were shattered in the first half of 2012. In the second half, millions of ordinary citizens broke another record: the most comments ever received by the Environmental Protection Agency. They came in support of a proposal, which NRDC helped design, to set the first national limits on carbon pollution from new power plants. And in a one-two punch, NRDC also helped secure a court victory rejecting an attempt by polluters to block the EPA from limiting carbon pollution. Read More
After decades of legal action from NRDC, the EPA will at last fulfill its obligation to enforce the Clean Air Act and protect America's air and water from mercury emitted from power plants. Mercury is a toxic that enters the food supply in fish we eat, and can eventually lead to negative health effects. Read More
After more than 35 years of inaction on the health threats posed by antibiotic misuse in animal feed, an NRDC lawsuit sparked a federal court to order the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to act on the widespread overuse of all medically important antibiotics. This paves the way for an end to the livestock industry's abuse of these important medicines and its whiplash effect -- the spread of antibiotic resistant disease. Read More
NRDC provides expertise to all the major sports leagues and many teams and venues to improve their environmental performance -- with results that save leagues millions of dollars, vastly increase water and energy efficiency, and raise the profile of environmental issues among fans and suppliers. Read More
NRDC and a coalition of conservation groups helped to develop California's Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. In California's Central Valley, a severe risk of flooding jeopardizes lives and the property of millions, and with the ongoing threat of climate change, the likelihood of future storm surges puts local land and riverine ecosystems in peril. Read More
In one of the nation's most noted environmental justice stories, NRDC and a coalition of other community, health and environmental groups succeeded in ending a long-standing health and climate threat with the closure of two nearly century-old polluting coal plants. The plants lacked many basic modern pollution controls despite sitting in the midst of some of Chicago's densest neighborhoods. Read More
In a unanimous decision, a federal appeals court ruled in June 2012 that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has failed to adequately address storage needs for spent nuclear fuel. A suit brought by NRDC, states (including New York), and other environmental organizations contended that the industry's storage plan is short-sighted and risky. Read More
In 2012, the United States became the first country in the world to set catch limits to end overfishing of U.S. ocean fisheries, a result that NRDC has fought for relentlessly. Thanks to this and the legal requirement to restore depleted fish populations, which NRDC has vigorously defended for more than a decade, most U.S. ocean fish populations are making a comeback. Read More
In an act that marked the culmination of nearly 12 years of NRDC advocacy, the California Fish and Game Commission unanimously voted to approve the last link in a chain of more than 100 marine protected areas stretching from Mexico to Oregon. Read More
A precedent-setting settlement forced BP to agree to a more restrictive permit for its Whiting Refinery and will see the company invest millions more in pollution controls and new monitors that will offer neighboring communities added protection from the highly-polluting tar sands oil project and provide stronger air quality protections for Northwest Indiana. Read More
Following a joint agreement reached by manufacturers, NRDC and other consumer and environmental advocates, the Department of Energy issued new standards in May 2012 that will require clothes washers and dishwashers to use less water and energy. Over the next two decades, these energy saving, together with other savings created by new appliance standards issued since 2009 will cumulatively save the United States a huge amount of energy -- the equivalent of 30 percent of total U.S. energy used in a single year. Read More