Environmental Issues: Energy

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All Documents in Energy

How to Reduce Your Energy Consumption
Tips for conserving electricity and cutting your energy costs

Energy efficiency and renewable energy represent the fastest, cleanest and least expensive ways to reduce our electricity use -- and our dependence on oil. Here, some tips on doing just that, for both individuals and businesses -- along with links to other resources that will help you conserve even more.
Efficient Appliances Save Energy -- and Money
Consumers get lower utility bills, and we all get a cleaner environment.

Energy efficient appliances are good for consumers and the environment. They won't solve our energy problems by themselves, but there are many reasons why they are a step in the right direction.
Our Forests Aren't Fuel
Forests are for wild animals, fresh air, clean water, and hiking with our kids. But now industry wants to burn our forests for biomass electricity, polluting the air we breathe and stealing from future generations.
NRDC's Green Offices
NRDC's offices save energy and the environment by embracing green building design.

When it comes to energy efficiency, NRDC practices what it preaches with energy-efficient and green design features in each of our four offices. Since beginning the greening of our offices in 1988, we have achieved numerous economic and environmental benefits, including keeping millions of pounds of global warming pollution out of the atmosphere.
A Vision for the Future of the Electric Industry
Issue Brief
America's electric utilities today are operating in a rapidly changing environment that features an expansion of innovative customer options, shifting public policy goals, and a broader and more diverse electricity service marketplace. 
The Big Picture: Ultra High-Definition Televisions Could Add $1 Billion to Viewers' Annual Electric Bills
Going forward, consumers will likely be buying new ultra high-definition (UHD) televisions instead of high-definition versions for all models 36 inches and larger. Once this transition is completed, U.S. consumers will need to pay an extra $1 billion in annual energy costs to operate their new TVs unless further energy efficiency improvements are made.
Cellulosic Ethanol from Corn Stover: Can We Get It Right?
Low-carbon liquid fuels are an essential component of the effort to reduce fossil fuel use and achieve necessary reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to avert catastrophic climate change. Second-generation biofuels must achieve a lower carbon impact than corn ethanol and avoid the negative environmental impacts of corn ethanol. Failure to deliver on these environmental promises could irreparably damage public policy support for biofuels.
California's Golden Energy Efficiency Opportunity
Ramping Up Success to Save Billions and Meet Climate Goals

Issue Brief
California's businesses and residents have enjoyed decades of impressive financial and environmental benefits, thanks to the state's energy efficiency policies. However, the Golden State must significantly ramp up efficiency to tackle climate change and save residential, business, industrial, and agricultural consumers even more money while creating jobs and stimulating the economy.
In the U.S. Southeast, Natural Forests Are Being Felled to Send Fuel Overseas
Energy markets are driving a new and frenzied demand for trees from the ecologically rich forests of the southeastern United States. The epicenter of this new market demand is in Europe, where power companies are seeking alternatives to coal and other fossil fuels and increasingly turning to woody biomass in the form of pellets to fuel their power plants.
What to Expect in Clean Power Plan Litigation
In short, litigation over the Clean Power Plan, as with any major Clean Air Act standard, is likely to occur. But the EPA has an excellent track record in court. Polluters and their allies shouldn't be able to delay the Clean Power Plan just by filing court cases. Our country needs to join the global fight to curb climate change now.
NRDC’s Annual Energy Reports
NRDC each year reviews the most recent data to present an overall picture of the U.S. energy sector, which is undergoing a major shift toward increasing amounts of renewable energy and cost-effective energy efficiency.
Cleaner Air and Better Health: The Benefits of Ohio's Renewable and Efficiency Standards
Ohio's Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) and Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) hold significant untapped potential to protect the environment and safeguard public health, particularly the health of children, pregnant women, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations.
The Clean Power Plan: Building on Ohio’s Clean Energy Accomplishments
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio have asked stakeholders to provide guidance on the draft Clean Power Plan, the assumptions that went into setting Ohio's target, and to provide information that the agencies should consider in preparing the state;s comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To that end, NRDC submits these comments on Ohio's carbon reduction opportunities under the Clean Power Plan.
Renewable Energy for America
Harvesting the Benefits of Clean, Local, Renewable Energy

This guide for farmers and agricultural communities on the economic benefits of investment in renewable energy includes maps showing both existing renewable energy facilities and potential for development of renewable resources.
Disaster in the Gulf
The BP oil rig that exploded killed 11 workers and spewed some 170 million gallons of toxic crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Whether we look to habitat and wildlife, employment and pay, or basic health and family welfare, the BP oil blowout has devastated the region.
Stop Dirty Fuels
As cheap, plentiful conventional oil becomes a luxury of the past, we now face a choice: to set a course for a more sustainable energy future of clean, renewable fuels, or to develop ever-dirtier sources of transportation fuel derived from fossil fuels -- at an even greater cost to our health and environment. Looking for fuel in all the wrong places puts wildlands, air, water and climate at risk.
Clean Power: The Case for Carbon Pollution Limits
Climate change is the central environmental challenge of our generation. We may be running out of time but, as the Clean Power Plan illustrates, we are not running out of solutions. To help sort out the debate over the Clean Power Plan, NRDC has prepared this well-referenced resource to help separate fact from fiction.
Home Idle Load
Devices Wasting Huge Amounts of Electricity When Not in Active Use

Issue Paper
There has been a veritable explosion in the number of electronics, appliances, and other equipment plugged into, or permanently connected to, America's homes. Most are consuming electricity around-the-clock, even when the owners are not using them or think they have been turned off. This always-on energy use by inactive devices translates to $19 billion a year -- about $165 per U.S. household.
Sustainability Certification for Biofuels
Large fuel purchasers are increasingly turning to biofuels to improve their environmental performance. These efforts are well intentioned but warrant caution. While biofuels can certainly provide environmental benefits, they can also cause severe damage if produced unsustainably, because biofuel feedstocks are inextricably linked to land, water, and wildlife.
State Opportunities for a Clean Energy Future
Cutting Carbon Pollution Under the Clean Power Plan

Issue Paper
States have an opportunity to tap a well of economic growth that could provide new jobs, expand their economies, and help protect future generations from the worst impacts of a changing climate. That opportunity is clean energy, and one way for states to realize more clean energy growth in the coming years is through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan.
Bridging the Clean Energy Divide: Affordable Clean Energy Solutions for Today and Tomorrow
Fact Sheet
The impacts of pollution often hit the poor the hardest. And experts predict that climate change will worsen the situation. However, the shift to clean energy offers a chance to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, while lessening the toll that dirty fossil fuels are currently wreaking on some of our most vulnerable communities.
NRDC's India Initiative on Climate Change and Clean Energy
India is emerging both as an economic powerhouse and a global environmental leader. As India's economy charges ahead, the country needs to produce more energy to provide a better life for its people, many of whom live in rural areas and are very poor. At the same time, India has recognized that tackling climate change is in its own national interests.
Top 10 Threats from the Tar Sands Invasion
Despite economic losses, Big Oil remains determined to triple production of the dirty crude over the next two decades, and it has plans to flood the United States with up to six million barrels a day. The Tar Sands Invasion will pollute our land, air, and water if we don't stand up and say no to the real and widespread threats it represents.
America's Data Centers Consuming and Wasting Growing Amounts of Energy
Critical Action Needed to Save Money and Cut Pollution

The explosion of digital content, big data, e-commerce, and Internet traffic is making data centers one of the fastest growing users of electricity in developed countries, and one of the key drivers in the construction of new power plants in some regions of the United States.
Aviation Biofuel Sustainability Survey
Issue Brief
To assess the current state of aviation biofuel sustainability certification, and to support the use of certification in the aviation fuel supply chain, NRDC has generated its inaugural Aviation Biofuel Sustainability Survey.
Achieving Clean Fuels Success: How to Meet California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard
Fact Sheet
Over the next ten years, California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), a program requiring the oil industry to cut its carbon pollution and to increase the use of clean fuels, could triple the use of alternative fuels from today's levels.
Big Polluter Agenda
14 Ways the 114th Congress Plans to Attack the Environment and Undermine Public Health

Even before they were sworn in, Republican leaders of the 114th Congress vowed to reward their fossil fuel industry backers by pushing through an agenda that only big polluters could love -- endangering the nation's air, lands, water, and climate.
Strong U.S. Energy Efficiency Standards: Decades of Using Energy Smarter
The U.S. Appliance Standards Program Has a Long History of Success, Bipartisan Support, and Saving Americans Money

Fact Sheet
Wasted energy means wasted money. National energy efficiency standards that the U.S. Department of Energy is establishing for more than 50 types of household appliances and commercial products in our homes, businesses, and industries help cut that energy waste: they set a dependable minimum level of energy efficiency that all Americans can count on to reduce energy waste and lower their energy bills.
Unchecked Fracking Threatens Health, Water Supplies
The rapid expansion of natural gas drilling across the nation endangers human health and the environment.

The oil and gas industry is seeking to expand natural gas production across the nation, as new technology makes it easier to extract gas from previously inaccessible sites. NRDC supports establishing a fully effective system of safeguards for hydraulic fracturing to protect our health and land and is committed to working with the federal government, states, communities and industry to put these safeguards into place right away.
Stop the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline
The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will hurt not help job creation in America

Proponents of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline engaged in a major disinformation campaign in a desperate attempt to win approval for the 1,700-mile pipeline though America's heartland. The facts reveal this pipeline was never in America's national interest.
Cooling India with Less Warming
The Business Case for Phasing Down HFCs in Room and Vehicle Air Conditioners

Issue Paper
Choices made in the next few years will shape whether Indian consumers, companies and government authorities can turn the challenges of the room and vehicle air conditioning expansion into business advantage and national opportunity while reducing climate change, improving air quality, and making air conditioning more efficient and less costly to operate.
Unmasked: The Oil Industry Campaign to Undermine California’s Clean Energy Future
Millions Spent on Front Groups, Lobbying, and Scare Tactics to Keep Californians Dependent on Oil

Issue Brief
California's climate and clean energy policies reduce dependence on oil. By 2030, they will enable Californians to save more than $2,000 per household on gasoline and avoid the need to drive 14 billion miles each year. With the petroleum fuels sector scheduled to begin paying for its portion of climate pollution in January 2015, oil companies have intensified their campaign to undermine the clean energy policies that will reduce their market share.
Drilling in California: Who’s at risk?
As new drilling and stimulation techniques, including fracking, are heralded as the key to unlocking a new oil boom in California, there is mounting evidence that these technologies, and the expansion of oil and gas development that they enable, threaten public health.
Burning Trees for Electricity Will Accelerate Climate Change and Destroy Southern Forests
Fact Sheet
Power companies in the United States and Europe are expanding their use of trees, known as woody biomass, as a fuel source to replace fossil fuels. In the Southeast, the massive fuel needs of these energy companies could double logging rates and significantly increase carbon emissions, contributing to climate change at a time when we need to actively cut our carbon pollution.
Enviva’s Wood Pellet Mill in Ahoskie, North Carolina Threatens Endangered Ecosystems and Wildlife
Fact Sheet
Conversions of large coal-burning power plants to wood (co-)firing in Europe have resulted in the explosive growth of wood pellet exports from North America, most of which originate in the forests of the southern United States. Enviva, the South's largest exporter of wood pellets, currently leads this market and has some of the most biologically diverse and valuable forest ecosystems in the world in its crosshairs.
The Truth About the Biomass Industry
How Wood Pellet Exports Pollute Our Climate and Damage Our Forests

Fact Sheet
Wood pellet exports from the United States nearly doubled last year, from 1.6 million tons in 2012 to 3.2
million tons in 2013, and are expected to jump to 5.7 million tons in 2015. More than 98 percent went to Europe, where they were destined for use in foreign power plants to help meet European renewable energy targets. This massive additional demand for logs now risks destroying ecosystems that can never be replaced.
Florida at an Energy Crossroads
How will the Sunshine State Comply with the EPA Clean Power Plan?

Florida can seize the opportunity presented by the EPA's Clean Power Plan to respond to the challenge of climate change while taking advantage of its renewables and efficiency potential. By crafting a plan that finally begins to capture these untapped resources, Florida can create jobs, promote innovation in nascent industries, and become more resilient through the diversification of its energy system.
Your Guide to More Efficient and Money-Saving Light Bulbs
Fact Sheet
In 2007, Congress passed minimum energy efficiency standards for everyday light bulbs that will reduce consumers' energy bills by $13 billion per year, or $100 per household per year, and save 30 power plants worth of electricity annually once the standards are in full effect. These standards do not ban incandescent light bulbs -- they simply require them to be more efficient and go into effect in stages.
It Could Happen Here: The Exploding Threat of Crude by Rail in California
Fact Sheet
In the rush to transport land-locked unconventional new crude oil sources, old rail lines running through communities across America are now rattling with thousands of cars filled with crude oil. Federal regulators have few safeguards in place to protect communities and the environment from accidents, spills and explosions resulting from the race to move millions of barrels of crude by rail.
A Call to Action for More Efficient Clothes Dryers
U.S. Consumers Missing Out on $4 Billion in Annual Savings

Issue Brief
Currently, Americans spend $9 billion annually to operate their dryers, but extensive research by NRDC and its consultant Ecova shows that just updating residential dryers to the level of the most efficient versions sold overseas could save U.S. consumers a whopping $4 billion a year. Now is the time to seize the massive energy savings opportunity they represent.
The Latest-Generation Video Game Consoles
How Much Energy Do They Waste When You’re Not Playing?

Issue Paper
The newest game consoles are on track to consume as much electricity each year as all the homes in Houston, the fourth-largest city in the country, and cost consumers more than $1 billion to operate annually. Most of that energy will be consumed in the middle of the night, when the console is in standby mode.
Clean or Dirty Air? Congress Has a Choice
Tell congress to support clean energy, not big polluters

Don't let polluters turn back the clock. Tell Congress to restore clean energy incentives.
California’s Energy Efficiency Success Story
Saving Billions of Dollars and Curbing Tons of Pollution

Fact Sheet
California's long, bipartisan history of promoting energy efficiency -- America's cheapest and cleanest energy resource -- has saved Golden State residents more than $65 billion, helped lower their residential electricity bills to 25 percent below the national average, and contributed to the state's continuing leadership in creating green jobs.
Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2014 (Shaheen-Portman)
A Bipartisan Energy Efficient Effort for Government, Industry, and Buildings

Issue Brief
The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2014 (ESICA), introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), is a bipartisan effort to increase energy efficiency in buildings, industry, and the federal government. The broadly supported goals are to save taxpayer dollars, promote job growth, and cut carbon pollution by increasing investments in energy efficient buildings and technologies.
Tar Sands Crude Oil: Health Effects of a Dirty and Destructive Fuel
Issue Brief
Crude oil produced from tar sands is one of the world's dirtiest and most environmentally destructive sources of fuel. With more tar sands flowing through pipelines, moving on railcars, and being processed at refineries, there is mounting evidence that people and communities in the vicinity of tar sands activity face substantial health and safety risks.
Solar Electric Energy for Your Stadium or Arena
A Guide to Help Professional and Collegiate Sports Teams and Venues Develop Successful On-site Solar Power Generation

Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer recently distributed this solar development guide produced on their behalf by NRDC and Bonneville Environmental Foundation outlining the work necessary for each stadium to add on-site solar power generation to its energy mix.
What’s in Your Tank? Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States Need to Reject Tar Sands and Support Clean Fuels
Issue Brief
Oil industry plans could cause a dramatic increase in the use of tar sands-derived gasoline in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, a shift that would move the region backwards in its efforts to fight climate change.
Buying Carbon Offsets: What You Need to Know
When combined with other energy-saving efforts, carbon offsets can help you green your home, office and travel.

When combined with other personal energy-saving efforts, carbon offsets can help you green your home, office and travel. But the key is to shrink your own carbon output first.
Federal Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives
Driving innovation and investment in our buildings and appliances to save money and energy

Issue Brief
Four important federal tax incentives driving critical energy-saving gains unfortunately expired at the end of 2013. It is essential that Congress extend the energy efficiency incentives created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 in order to ensure continued growth of America's cheapest fuel source, energy efficiency, creating tens of thousands of new jobs throughout the country. Failure to act would increase dangerous pollution, sacrifice employment growth, and stifle U.S. innovation and competiveness.
The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act is a Step to Building our Clean Energy Future
Legislative Analysis
Senator Markey's legislation to establish a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) and standalone Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) would put in place key tools in the fight to address dangerous climate change. In order to meet our generational obligation to cut carbon pollution our nation must transition from polluting fossil fuels to clean energy sources like wind, solar, and energy efficiency. The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act will promote clean energy sources that cut carbon pollution, further expand our powerful clean energy economy which currently employs hundreds of thousands of American workers, drive innovation, and provide a strong market signal that the future lies in clean, renewable energy developed here in America. Get document in pdf.
Powering Classrooms. Empowering Communities.
Solar has great things to offer schools -- lower energy bills, math and science coolness, a greener footprint. Plus, there's the power of wow. Schools, in turn, have much to offer solar -- big roofs, excited audiences, energy-use profiles that benefit system owners.
Carbon Reduction Opportunities in the California Petroleum Industry
Issue Brief
Since the adoption of the first-in-the-nation Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in 2009, California continues to successfully reduce the carbon pollution of transportation fuels. This report looks at significant, concrete steps that the California oil industry can adopt today to curb its carbon emissions. These ready-to-deploy technologies could also go a long way to meeting the industry's responsibility under the LCFS.
Climate Impacts of the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline
Issue Brief
The proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would pump up to 830,000 barrels per day of the world's dirtiest oil from Canada's Boreal forest straight through the heart of America's breadbasket to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. Building the 875-mile northern segment of Keystone XL would lead to a dramatic increase in the carbon pollution that worsens the effects of climate change.
On-Bill Financing Programs
Overview and Key Considerations for Program Design

Issue Brief
On-bill financing programs are a promising way for utilities to help customers invest in energy efficiency improvements that can reduce utility bills, improve the value of the property, create new jobs, and deliver efficiency to the utility, which works to lower energy bills for everyone and reduce pollution.
Going in Reverse: The Tar Sands Oil Threat to Central Canada and New England
Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc. appears to be reviving a previous pipeline plan that would take tar sands oil to central Canada and New England. Under the plan, the pipeline would carry Canadian tar sands oil, the dirtiest oil on the planet, through some of the most important natural and cultural places in Ontario, Quebec, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Energy Saving Home Networks
Issue Paper
In 88 million homes across the United States, digital content flows through high-speed modems and routers, streaming our videos, pinging email into our inboxes -- and consuming 8.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. All of that energy comes with a $1 billion price tag as small networks guzzle power around the clock, even when our gadgets hibernate and we sleep.
NRDC in Latin America
NRDC works with partners on the ground in Latin American countries to help develop sustainable solutions to pressing challenges, including protecting natural resources, meeting development goals, and supplying enough energy, food and services for growing populations.
Combined Heat and Power Systems
Improving the Energy Efficiency of Our Manufacturing Plants, Buildings, and Other Facilities

Issue Paper
Improving the energy efficiency of our manufacturing facilities, buildings, and homes can help us meet our energy challenges affordably. Combined heat and power (CHP) systems are strong examples of how energy-efficiency technologies can help achieve significant benefits for end-user facilities, utilities, and communities.
State Renewable Portfolio Standards Create Jobs and Promote Clean Energy
Renewable Portfolio Standards attract new industries, create jobs, and keep state businesses competitive, while encouraging development of renewable power like wind, solar, and biomass.

Issue Paper
Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) move states toward clean, renewable energy by requiring that a percentage of a state’s electricity sold or generated must come from renewable sources within a certain time period. These statutes have enjoyed strong bipartisan support because of their proven ability to attract new industries, create jobs, and keep state businesses competitive, while encouraging development of renewable power like wind, solar, and biomass.
Scaling Up Energy Efficiency
Saving Money, Creating Jobs, and Slashing Emissions

Issue Brief
Energy efficiency is a proven resource with significant potential to dramatically reduce power plant emissions and to do so at low cost. Power plants represent 40 percent of the nation's total climate-changing pollution.
Amend SB 315 to Protect Ohio’s Successful Energy Efficiency Standard
Fact Sheet
Ohio's energy efficiency standard is lowering electricity bills, cutting pollution, and creating jobs. By amending Senate Bill 315, we can encourage the development of the Combined Heat and Power and Waste Energy Recovery projects without diluting the successful energy efficiency standard. Get document in pdf.
Testimony of Frances Beinecke for Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on “Opportunities and Challenges for Natural Gas”
Written Testimony of Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council for Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on "Opportunities and Challenges for Natural Gas." Get document in pdf.
Shell Oil's Arctic Drilling Accidents
The wreck of Shell's Arctic drilling rig is just the latest in a long string of incidents that illustrates like nothing better just how dangerous it is to drill in the Arctic.
Shedding New Light on the U.S. Energy Efficiency Standards For Everyday Light Bulbs
Fact Sheet
In 2007, the U.S. Congress adopted energy efficiency standards for new screw-based light bulbs. Beginning in 2012, these standards phase out the inefficient incandescent light bulb that dates back more than 125 years, and require new bulbs to use 25 to 30 percent less energy. As there are more than 4 billion screw-based sockets in the United States, the transition to more efficient light bulbs will provide massive national benefits. Get document in pdf.
It's Time to Build an Economy that is Stronger, Cleaner, Healthier, and Made to Last
Legislative Analysis
Clean energy and energy efficiency have provided a robust source for economic growth and innovation during difficult times and we should not reverse course. The impending budget sequester and expiring tax incentives will significantly reduce investment In technologies like wind and solar power, electric vehicles and weatherization. This will harm efforts to create new jobs, invent new technologies, and reduce energy costs while incentivizing utilities to pursue dirtier energy at the expense of health and the environment. Congress should close tax loopholes that are no longer needed, not cut programs that are already revitalizing the economy. Get document in pdf.
Leaking Profits
The U.S. Oil and Gas Industry Can Reduce Pollution, Conserve Resources, and Make Money by Preventing Methane Waste

Methane makes up as much as 90 percent of natural gas, and significant amounts of methane are wasted when natural gas is extracted by fracking or other techniques. Preventing the leakage and venting of methane from natural gas facilities would reduce pollution, enhance air quality, improve human health, and conserve energy resources.
Is Fracking Distressing You?
Unbridled drilling for natural oil and gas exploration is outpacing state and federal safeguards for people and the environment

Fracking is exempt from key provisions in the Safe Drinking Water, Clean Water, and Clean Air Acts and is fundamentally transforming communities as drilling industrializes sleepy towns and cities and scars untouched landscapes. Send us stories, videos, photos about how you are being affected by fracking.
Doing More and Using Less
Regulatory Reforms for Electricity and Natural Gas Utilities Can Spur Energy Efficiency

Fact Sheet
Energy efficiency means lower bills, more jobs and less pollution. Legislators, regulators, and governing boards of publicly owned and cooperatively owned utilities should adopt policies to spur utilities to collaborate with their customers to take advantage of all cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities.
Is Cloud Computing Always Greener?
Finding the Most Energy and Carbon Efficient Information Technology Solutions for Small- and Medium-Sized Organizations

Issue Brief
As a growing number of small- and medium-sized organizations (SMOs) seek to improve the energy efficiency of their Information Technology (IT) operations by moving computing applications to an Internet-based "cloud" platform, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the associated energy and climate impacts.
The Promise of the Smart Grid
Goals, Policies, and Measurement Must Support Sustainability Benefits

Issue Brief
Smart grid technologies can be powerful enablers of important environmental benefits, but careful smart grid program design and implementation is needed to leverage the environmental benefits of smart grid technologies, and direct capital toward solutions that benefit the environment.
American Wind Farms
Breaking Down the Benefits from Planning to Production

Issue Paper
Across America, the U.S. wind industry is exceeding expectations. This report offers a snapshot of this emerging trend, and points the way forward for a clean energy future. We must continue this momentum by promoting strong energy policies, beginning with an extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind energy, a crucial step towards building a strong, sustainable, market leading U.S. wind industry.
At Wind Speed
How the U.S. Wind Industry is Rapidly Growing Our Local Economies

Issue Brief
Over the last two decades, the U.S. wind industry has grown dramatically. Across the country, more than 50,000 megawatts of wind power are installed, and American companies dominate the global wind turbine industry. This report shows how wind power is creating much-needed jobs, reducing pollution that harms our children's health, and cutting our dependence on dirty and limited fossil fuels.
A Greener Biofuels Tax Credit
The Path to Better Biofuels

Next-generation biofuels have the potential to deliver better environmental performance -- reduced lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and farming practices that result in cleaner water and healthier soils -- with less impact on food and feed prices.
State Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rules and Enforcement: A Comparison
Legislative Analysis
This analysis provides a comprehensive comparison of existing disclosure requirements for states with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations. It finds more than half of the states with hydraulic fracturing activity currently have no disclosure requirements at all. Of the existing state rules, none provide comprehensive disclosure. Enforcement of state rules is also found to be uneven.
Testimony of David D. Doniger, Policy Director and Senior Attorney, Climate and Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
Hearing on the U.S. Agricultural Sector Relief Act of 2012 Subcommittee on Energy and Power-Committee on Energy and Commerce-House of Representatives-July 18, 2012 Get document in pdf.
Comments Submitted on Proposed Final Biomass Regulations for Massachusetts, June 18, 2012
NRDC filed formal comments on the Proposed Final Regulations Regarding Eligibility of Biomass under Massachusetts RPS. We argued that the rules provide a robust and pragmatic set of standards and guidelines to ensure that the state meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals while protecting critical forest resources. The regulations provide a model for future policies at the state, utility, and federal level. In particular, we applauded the state's joint framework for greenhouse gas accounting, plant efficiency thresholds, and forest protection measures that restrict eligible biomass largely to residues from timber harvest. We were, however, very critical of the state's addition of "salvage from fire adapted forest ecosystems" to the list of eligible biomass. While this addition will have little impact in the northeastern states where fire is not predominant, it is a very bad precedent for other states in the west that may be considering the Massachusetts model. Get document in pdf.
Testimony of David D. Doniger on Hearing on the American Energy Initiative: A Focus on EPA's Greenhouse Gas Regulations
Testimony of David D. Doniger, policy director and senior attorney of Climate and Clean Air Program, on Hearing on the American Energy Initiative: A Focus on EPA's Greenhouse Gas Regulations before the Subcommittee on Energy and Power Committee on Energy and Commerce House of Representatives on June 19, 2012. Get document in pdf.
Governments Should Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies or Risk Lower Economic Growth, Delayed Investment in Clean Energy and Unnecessary Climate Change Pollution
Fact Sheet
Few concrete steps have been made to fulfill commitments by the G20 leaders in 2009, and more than 50 countries since, to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. Although the G20 commitment was an important first step which led to a broader international coalition, the lack of a timeline and an organization that could monitor and assist countries in the implementation of their commitments has limited its practical effect on the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies. In fact, governments are expected to spend nearly three times more money subsidizing fossil fuels than they did in 2009. Get document in pdf.
Delivering On Renewable Energy Around The World
How Do Key Countries Stack Up?

Fact Sheet
At the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit -- Earth Summit 2012  -- countries, companies, cities, and individuals need to commit to increasing the amount of wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, and wave power throughout the world, to 15 percent of total electricity by 2020 -- more than doubling what is predicted under current trends.
Keystone XL: A Tar Sands Pipeline to Increase Oil Prices
One of the most misunderstood issues surrounding the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is the project’s impact on U.S. gasoline prices. Pipeline supporters cite high gasoline prices as a reason to build the project. The truth is that Keystone XL is likely to both decrease the amount of gasoline produced in U.S. refineries for domestic markets, and increase the cost of producing it, leading to even higher prices at the pump. Get document in pdf.
New Rules in Massachusetts Offer Model for Rewarding Good Biomass
Fact Sheet
Power companies argue that because trees can grow back, they are a renewable and “carbon neutral” fuel source. This misconception is embedded in many existing renewable energy policies promoting biomass fuels uniformly for electricity production. Massachusetts, for example, realized that its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) regulations were rewarding power companies for burning whole trees, thus undermining efforts to invest in truly low-carbon energy sources. The Commonwealth chose to end this practice by putting in place smart standards to drive the market towards the best sources of biomass—the first standards in the world to set a performance requirement for biomass. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) hails Massachusetts’ new proposed biomass rules as a blueprint for how other states and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can ensure that biomass-fueled energy reduces carbon emissions and protects our nation’s valuable forests. Get document in pdf.
Energy Productivity in Ohio
Efficiency Benefits to Power Jobs and the Economy

Issue Paper
Ohio has tremendous opportunity to improve its energy productivity and decrease the amount of money it sends to other states to import energy. Since the 2008 passage of bipartisan Senate Bill 221 that includes an energy efficiency portfolio standard, Ohio has already begun to realize increased productivity in the energy sector and across the larger economy.
Relieving Pain at the Pump
Thanks to Stronger Standards, Consumers Have More Fuel-Efficient Choices

Fact Sheet
As gas prices are once again soaring, the oil industry and its allies are renewing their calls for more drilling, more pipelines, and continued taxpayers subsidies. But the reality is that greatly increased domestic drilling has failed to lower gasoline prices and had no impact on stopping the latest spike in global oil prices. The good news is that with the proposed standards that require the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg), new cars by 2025 will get twice the fuel efficiency and use half of much gas as today’s cars. But the best news is that drivers do not have to wait until 2025 to reap the cost savings benefits of stronger fuel efficiency standards. In fact, thanks to the first phase of these stronger standards that started in model year (MY) 2012, a bumper crop of fuel-efficient cars are in the showrooms today. Drivers can start saving money immediately by trading in their gas guzzlers for today’s gas sippers. Get document in pdf.
Voices Against Tar Sands
Real People, Real Stories About How Tar Sands Affects Us

Big Oil is pushing a web of pipelines from strip-mining of Canada's dirty and costly tar sands from under the Boreal forest. But people on the front lines are speaking out, taking a stand against dirty energy. We’ve captured their stories here to show how Keystone XL and other tar sands pipelines, as well as tar sands extraction and refining will have real impacts, on real people.
In Fracking's Wake
New Rules are Needed to Protect Our Health and Environment from Contaminated Wastewater

Issue Paper
Natural gas development has exploded, fueled by advances in an extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Unfortunately, federal and state safeguards to protect people and the environment from the hazards of fracking have not kept pace.
Natural Gas and Electric Decoupling
Using energy more efficiently is the cheapest and cleanest way to serve America's energy needs. For instance, through making energy-saving improvements in buildings, and through the processes and devices served by America's electric and natural gas utilities, there's potential to save nearly $700 billion by 2020, as well as create jobs, and significantly reduce pollution.
Saving Energy in Server Rooms and Closets
Issue Paper
Energy waste in U.S. server rooms and closets represents the equivalent output of seven medium-size coal-fired power plants, costing U.S. businesses over $2 billion per year in unnecessary electricity.
Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline: Raising US Oil Prices
Fact Sheet
Although the White House rejected the presidential permit for Keystone XL in January 2012, pipeline backers have cited high U.S. gas prices as a reason to expedite pipeline approval for the section from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast. There is no credible evidence, however, that gas prices would decline if Keystone XL was constructed—especially not the southern segment. The truth is, the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline could actually add to our nation's pain at the pump. Get document in pdf.
Fracking in Pennsylvania
The use of hydraulic fracturing has opened up oil and gas resources in many parts of the country where drilling was not previously occurring. These wells are drilled near our homes, schools, and offices -- but information about them is not always readily accessible or publicly available. We need to have better information about the effects of drilling on our health, land and quality of life. Click on the map icons to learn more about the wells in our communities.
The Role of Natural Gas in America’s Energy Mix
Fact Sheet
Our nation’s top energy priority must be the rapid expansion of energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. These are the quickest, cleanest, and most sustainable solutions to meeting our energy needs, while curbing global warming and other serious pollution problems. As we work to increase renewable and more efficient energy, however, more damaging energy sources—including fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas—will continue to play a role in our energy mix. Because power plants burning natural gas produce less air pollution than coal-burning plants, in the near term natural gas can actually serve to diminish a number of public health threats caused by generating electricity. To achieve this, though, sound policies must be in place to make certain that natural gas is used to replace coal and minimize methane emissions—a potent global warming pollutant—and does not displace investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. Get document in pdf.
Protecting Americans from the Risks of Fracking
Fact Sheet
Natural gas development has exploded at break-neck speed in recent years, fueled by advancements in an extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—that has allowed the oil and gas industry to access previously out-of-reach reserves. Unfortunately, federal and state safeguards to protect people and the environment from the hazards of fracking have not kept pace. As a result, this development has proved dangerous, destructive, and polluting. This unbridled growth of fracking has allowed the gas industry to run roughshod over communities, leaving a host of serious impacts in their wake—from poisoned water wells, to contaminated rivers and streams, toxic air pollution and devastated property values in towns, and rural areas across the country. Get document in pdf.
The Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Hinders Climate Change Progress
Fact Sheet
The proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would pump 900,000 barrels of extra-dirty oil daily through the fertile breadbasket of the United States to the Gulf Coast from where it can be exported overseas. The pipeline would hobble the steps the country is making in its ongoing battle against climate change. Americans are already experiencing the consequences of climate change, at home and in their pocketbooks, with more frequent and stronger storms, raging wildfires, and drought. The costs associated with extreme weather events due to climate change will only increase in the coming years. Tar sands will only make these consequences worse, while expanding dirty oil mining practices, discouraging investment in a clean-energy economy, and razing virgin Boreal forestland that has the natural capacity to store carbon. Get document in pdf.
Coal in a Changing Climate
This index collects policy documents about the implications of the world's reliance on coal.

This index collects policy documents about the implications of the world's reliance on coal.
The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will hurt not help job creation in America
Fact Sheet
Proponents of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline are engaged in a major disinformation campaign in a desperate attempt to win approval for the 2000-mile pipeline though America's heartlands. Get document in pdf.
Better Bulbs, Better Jobs
Case Studies in Ohio's Energy-Efficient Lighting Industry

Fact Sheet
Ohio has long been a leader in manufacturing. Located within 600 miles of 62 percent of North America’s manufacturing locations, its strong workforce and proximity to markets have helped to make it a global leader in producing high-quality goods. While the economic downturn shuttered some of its factories, Ohio is seeing an economic resurgence in a newer industry: energy-efficient lighting. Responding to new federal lighting efficiency standards and the state’s energy efficiency resource standard, dozens of companies in Ohio, large and small, are inventing, manufacturing, and deploying better-performing, energy-efficient lighting solutions. These companies are creating much needed jobs, reducing energy bills for businesses and households, and cutting pollution that harms Ohioans’ health and safety. Get document in pdf.
Encircling the White House to Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline
A public outcry halts the proposed tar sands pipeline

The November 6th rally at the White House in Washington, D.C.  Thousands encircled the White House to ask President Obama to reject Keystone XL.
Keystone XL Pipeline: Undermining U.S. Energy Security and Sending Tar Sands Overseas
How the Keystone XL pipeline robs America of an energy secure future

The national debate surrounding the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has obscured the fact that a key purpose of the pipeline is to export Canadian oil to the world market via the U.S. Gulf Coast -- a plan that would threaten the farmlands and water of America's heartland.
Why Liquid Coal Is Not a Viable Option to Move America Beyond Oil
Fact Sheet
The coal industry is touting a plan to transform millions of tons of coal into diesel and other liquid fuels -- an expensive, polluting process that also releases large quantities of heat-trapping carbon pollution into the air. Relying on liquid coal as an alternative fuel could nearly double carbon pollution per gallon of transportation fuels, and increase the devastating effects of coal mining felt by communities and ecosystems stretching from Appalachia to the Rocky Mountains. Get document in pdf.
A Proactive Planning Tool for Renewable Energy Development
A partnership between NRDC and the US Department of Defense

Working with US Department of Defense, NRDC developed a first-of-its-kind mapping and analytic tool called the Renewable Energy And Defense Geospatial Database, or READ-Database. The online tool allows renewable energy developers identify sites for renewable projects that are unlikely to interfere with military activities and training, or that have the fewest environmental conflicts.
The Proposed Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline
Why Mayors Are Challenging This High Carbon Project

Fact Sheet
As conventional sources of oil decline, oil companies are focusing on exploiting sources that are more destructive to extract and result in higher greenhouse gas emissions. The leading source of "higher carbon" oil is tar sands -- or bitumen -- that is strip-mined or drilled from deep under Canada's great Boreal forest. Currently, the United States imports approximately one million barrels of tar sands per day from Canada, but the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would lock the country into nearly another million barrels per day of this risky, high-carbon fuel. Mayors from all regions of the country are challenging this project and its potential for undermining local community efforts to move toward a healthier and more sustainable clean energy future. Local communities are at the forefront of reducing U.S. demand for oil and know that we have cleaner choices for our transportation needs than tar sands oil. Get document in pdf.
Forests Not Fuel
Burning Trees for Energy Increases Carbon Pollution and Destroys Our Forests

Fact Sheet
Forests purify our air and water, control soil erosion, foster biodiversity, provide habitats for wildlife, and serve as carbon "sinks", absorbing and storing vast amounts of carbon. Power companies, facing pressure to find alternatives to fossil fuels like coal, are increasingly proposing to burn whole trees for energy instead, which would not only emit a lot of carbon, but also destroy one of our best defenses against global warming.
Anti-Environmental Budget Riders
A significant assault on health and environmental protection is underway in Congress.

Lawmakers must pass 12 spending bills for fiscal 2012 to fund the government, and some House Republicans are seizing this opportunity to jam through unpopular anti-environmental policies that have nothing to do with spending.
Testimony of Deron Lovaas on Legislative Issues for Transportation Reauthorization
Deron Lovaas testified to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on Legislative Issues for Transportation Reauthorization that took place on July 21, 2011. In his testimony he recommends a series of steps to rectify current policy, which undermines America's safety, energy and climate security, and economy. These include: Investing wisely in transportation infrastructure by adopting new performance and accountability measures, fixing our failing bridges and roads, reducing our oil dependence, deploying innovative financing tools, improving project delivery, adopting greener freight policy, and reducing polluted stormwater runoff. Read the full testimony for information on specific tools that can help us move forward. Get document in pdf.
Better Light Bulbs Equal Consumer Savings in Every State
Fact Sheet
In 2007, Congress enacted new lighting efficiency standards. As long as Congress does not repeal the standards before they begin to take effect in January, they will save the average American household $85 each year and more than $12.5 billion nationally each year when fully implemented. Get document in pdf.
Better Viewing, Lower Energy Bills, and Less Pollution
Improving the Efficiency of Television Set-Top Boxes

Fact Sheet
More than 80 percent of U.S. homes subscribe to some form of pay television service. Transforming those signals into shows, movies, and sports on the screen currently depends on approximately 160 million set-top boxes. NRDC and Ecos partnered to better understand how much energy these boxes use and what energy savings opportunities exist. What we found was startling: In 2010, the electricity required to operate all U.S. set-top boxes was equal to the annual household electricity consumption of the entire state of Maryland, resulted in 16 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and cost households more than $3 billion. Fortunately, there is great potential for improving the efficiency and reducing the cost of operating these electronics relied upon by so many viewers.
Get document in pdf.
Fighting Oil Addiction
Ranking States' Gasoline Price Vulnerability and Solutions for Change

Issue Paper
To curb America's perilous addiction to oil, we need effective government policies that will increase the availability of efficient vehicles and clean fuels and that will promote smart growth and public transit. This November 2012 paper updates NRDC's research identifying the states that are most vulnerable to spikes in oil prices -- and those states that are doing the most to break their addiction to oil.
Domestic Oil Drilling
Still Not a Solution to Rising Gas Prices

More domestic oil drilling will have no effect on the current spike in gasoline prices. It’s time to move beyond our dependence on oil and seek alternatives such as clean energy and fuel efficiency.
The BP Oil Disaster at One Year
A Straightforward Assessment of What We Know, What We Don’t, and What Questions Need to be Answered

Issue Paper
It has been over a year since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded over a BP well, killing 11 workers and opening a gusher that spewed some 170 million gallons of toxic crude oil and 200,000 metric tons of methane gas into the Gulf of Mexico. The harm has been widespread—to the people, to the environment, and to the wildlife of the region. And we are only beginning to understand what the medium- and long-term effects may be. Our government and the oil and gas industry with whom we have entrusted a precious natural resource have both fallen short of delivering what our nation—and particularly the people of the Gulf—deserve. But it is within our power to change, to restore the Gulf, to make its people whole, and to make deepwater drilling safer while we work to reduce the need to put workers at risk drilling in deeper and more dangerous waters.
Get document in pdf.
NRDC testimony before House Energy & Power Subcommittee on Mercury and Air Toxics Standards
This testimony by John Walke, NRDC’s Clean Air Director, concerns EPA mercury and air toxics standards for power plants, cement plants and various industrial facilities. The testimony was/will be presented before the Energy & Power Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 15, 2011. Get document in pdf.
The Road to Recovery
Investing in a New Transportation Policy

Fact Sheet
Our outdated national transportation policy poses a triple threat to the nationto our safety, to our energy and climate security, and to our economy. The current transportation law expired in 2009, and is due for a wholesale rewrite by the President and Congress. Now is the time to create a smarter, safer transportation network for the future, by repairing aging roads, rail lines and bridges, reducing our dependence on oil, and ensuring that our transportation dollars are invested in projects that bring the highest returns. NRDC recommends that Congress and the President work together to create a strong, coherent national transportation policy that will improve mobility, boost the economy, and protect the environment. Get document in pdf.
Federal Transportation Bill Should Cut Oil, Boost Economy

NRDC's Federal Transportation Policy Director Deron Lovaas testified before the House Transportation Committee on March 30, 2011, laying out the ways that upcoming federal transportation legislation can cut our addition to oil and boost our economy at the same time. Lovaas recommended that lawmakers focus on

1) investing in rail, transit, and other strategies that cut oil use and congestion;
2) prioritize maintenance and rehabilitation of the rest of our existing transportation system; and
3) leveraging innovative financing tools and performance standards to make the most of taxpayer dollars.

Get document in pdf.
Second Harvest
Bioenergy from Cover Crop Biomass

Issue Paper
Bioenergy made from sustainably harvested cover crops has the potential to build the country’s renewable energy portfolio while conserving resources and increasing farmers’ income.
Tar Sands Pipelines Safety Risks
Tar sands crude oil pipeline companies may be putting America's public safety at risk. Increasingly, pipelines transporting tar sands crude oil into the United States are carrying diluted bitumen or "DilBit" -- a highly corrosive, acidic, and potentially unstable blend of thick raw bitumen and volatile natural gas liquid condensate -- raising risks of spills and damage to communities along their paths. The impacts of tar sands production are well known. Tar sands extraction in Canada destroys Boreal forests and wetlands, causes high levels of greenhouse gas pollution, and leaves behind immense lakes of toxic waste. Less well understood, however, is the increased risk and potential harm that can be caused by transporting the raw form of tar sands oil (bitumen) through pipelines to refineries in the United States. Get document in pdf.
The New Efficient Light Bulbs
New Standards Promise Cheaper Light and Fewer Emissions

The horse-and-buggy era light bulb we still rely on -- dating back more than 125 years -- wastes up to 90 percent of the electricity it consumes as heat, burning up hundreds of dollars every year in each American household. In 2007, the U.S. Congress adopted energy efficiency standards requiring new screw-based light bulbs to use 25 to 30 percent less energy beginning in 2012.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a Model for the Nation
In the absence of a comprehensive national energy policy, ten northeastern and mid-Atlantic states are working together to shift their energy dollars to cleaner, local, job-creating resources through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, RGGI.
Say No to Tar Sands Pipeline
Proposed Keystone XL Project Would Deliver Dirty Fuel at a High Cost

Fact Sheet
The Canadian pipeline company TransCanada has proposed a tar sands pipeline that could bring as much as 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) of costly and polluting fuel to the U.S. Gulf Coast. This pipeline, called Keystone XL, will lock the United States into a dependence on hard-to-extract oil and generate a massive expansion of the destructive tar sands oil operations in Canada. In addition to the damage that would be caused by the increased tar sands extraction, the pipeline threatens to pollute freshwater supplies in America’s agricultural heartland and increase emissions in already-polluted communities of the Gulf Coast. Get document in pdf.
Clean Energy Innovation
A Clean Energy Deployment Administration Will Spur Domestic Clean Energy Production

Legislative Analysis
Well designed government support for clean energy innovation has the potential to increase U.S. energy independence and promote innovation and green jobs while reducing global warming pollution. Currently, financing provisions to support clean energy deployment are critically absent from the government's portfolio. The Clean Energy Financing Title of the American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009 (ACELA, S. 1462 in the last Congress) passed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year provides a framework for a Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA) to assist proven technologies in moving beyond the "valley of death" between demonstration-scale and commercial-scale projects. Critical changes, however, must be made to this legislation to ensure that CEDA's supports home-grown energy technology innovations that are truly clean and are so new that they need government assistance, and that the program includes taxpayer protections. Get document in pdf.
Hybrid Cars Go Mainstream
The New Hybrid Sedans and SUVs

When gas prices hit four dollars a gallon in 2008, car buyers flocked to hybrids to avoid getting stung at the pumps. But with the downturn of the economy and gas prices, the U.S. auto market has slumped and as a consequence hybrid sales have been flat for the past three years. That's about to change.
Grasping Green Car Technology
New fuel-efficient, less-polluting vehicles are powered by technologies that aren't always familiar. If you're considering buying one, you may be concerned not only with how it handles, but how well it will hold up over time, what it might cost to maintain, and if it will be as good for the environment (and your wallet) as claimed. Fortunately, with a little information, the brave new world of greener alternative fuels and drivetrains is easy to grasp.
Our Work in the Gulf
Since 2005, NRDC has been working to support Gulf communities to protect their health and environment. In the wake of the BP oil disaster, we remain committed to pushing for a full recovery of the rich ecological, cultural, and economic centers in the Gulf of Mexico. Through our Gulf Coast Resource Center we will work to ensure that neither the stories of this disaster nor the lessons we can learn from it are lost.
NRDC Comments to HUD on FHA PowerSaver Pilot
Comments from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Home Energy Retrofit Loan Pilot Program ("PowerSaver") sent to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on December 23rd, 2010. Get document in pdf.
No More Mountaintop Removal
Across Appalachia, mining companies are wiping out some of America’s oldest and most revered mountains -- along with all that those mountains provide to the natural systems and communities they support. Take action now!
Electric Cars Are Ready for Prime Time
Just as major car companies were crushing their electric car programs in 2004 and 2005, the perfect storm was brewing on the horizon: volatile gasoline prices, growing acceptance of the realities of global warming, and the realization that fuel economy standards were going to be strengthened. The automakers went back to the drawing board and emerged with big plans for electric cars.
What's at Risk from Industry's Full-Scale Assault on the EPA and the Clean Air Act?
Public Health Protections Under Attack

It is important to understand that the EPA is one of our major success stories, representing vital problem-solving on a national scale, and that we should support the EPA doing its job.
Putting U.S. Biochar Policy on the Right Track
Issue Paper
Biochar is charcoal formed by heating biomass at high temperatures in the absence of oxygen and then added to soil to improve its health. Biochar has generated attention as a global warming mitigation tool because of its potential to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it safely in soils. But questions about the environmental impacts of biochar's lifecycle must be answered before we can responsibly scale up its production and use.
New Banking Policies Still Support MTR Mining
Analysis of Mountaintop Removal Funding Practices

Fact Sheet
Over the past two years, six banks have developed guidelines that propose to restrict their lending and/or banking relationships with companies using MTR mining practices. NRDC analyzed recent debt financing transactions of these six banks to determine their current engagement level in mountaintop removal funding. Get document in pdf.
Testimony of Luke Tonachel on Proposed Rulemaking for Revisions and Additions to Motor Vehicle Fuel Economy Label
Testimony of Luke Tonachel in Chicago at a public hearing on the proposed rulemaking for revisions and additions to motor vehicle fuel economy label jointly administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, October 14, 2010. Get document in pdf.
Let the VEETC Expire: Moving Beyond Corn Ethanol Means Less Waste, Less Pollution and More Jobs
Fact Sheet
Transitioning to low-carbon fuels is crucial to breaking America's dependence on oil and curbing global warming. But while some biofuels reduce pollution, others pollute more than the oil they replace. Unfortunately, the biggest government incentive program for biofuels -- the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) -- fails to differentiate between biofuels, and has wasted $20 billion taxpayer dollars subsidizing a polluting corn ethanol industry. By subsidizing any type of ethanol, the VEETC comes at the expense of supporting clean energy technologies like wind, solar, and advanced biofuels -- made from sustainable crops like willow -- that create more green jobs and far less pollution. Congress is considering a 5-year extension of the VEETC that would cost taxpayers $31 billion. NRDC urges Congress to let the VEETC expire and replace it with a smarter, cheaper, and greener biofuels tax credit that rewards real environmental performance. Get document in pdf.
A Clean Energy Economy for Montana
Building Rural Communities Through Renewable Resources Development

Issue Paper
Rich in natural resources and fertile land, Montana has a historically stable and increasingly diverse economy. But the global economic downturn is impacting communities throughout the state, with unemployment climbing by 69 percent since the start of 2008. Montana can use its bountiful renewable resources to build a strong long-term economy and secure a prosperous future as a national leader in producing clean energy. 
A Clean Energy Economy for North Dakota
Analysis of the Rural Economic Development Potential of Renewable Resources

Issue Paper
North Dakota has a strong and diverse economy based on agriculture, energy, minerals, and tourism. Arguably the state with the greatest clean energy potential, North Dakota is in a prime position to become a key supplier of renewable energy and the tools to produce it -- provided that national policies are enacted to put America on the path to a clean energy future.
Reducing the Need for U.S. Drilling Through Energy Efficiency
Fact Sheet
The toll from the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is devastating. Nearly 4 million barrels of oil have poured into Gulf waters,1 destroying fragile marine and coastal ecosystems and inflicting untold economic damages on businesses and residents in the Gulf region. The effects of this spill -- one of the largest in history -- will be felt for generations. Get document in pdf.
Go Below the Surface of the Gulf Oil Disaster
An interactive guide to the Gulf spill's effects on one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world

It appears that only a fraction of the millions of gallons of crude oil that have flooded into the Gulf of Mexico rises to the surface. A lot of the oil remains dissolved or dispersed in the Gulf’s waters, contaminating one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. Go below the surface of the Gulf oil disaster with this interactive graphic.
Repower America with Clean Energy
Don't Choose Dirty Fuels Such As Tar Sands, Oil Shale or Liquid Coal

Fact Sheet
The United States stands at an energy crossroads. We now face a choice: to develop dirtier unconventional sources of transportation fuel derived from fossil fuels -- at an even greater cost to our health and environment -- or set a course for a more sustainable energy future of cleaner, renewable fuels and other clean transportation solutions to fuel our cars, trucks, and airplanes. America needs clean energy solutions, not dirty fuels such as tar sands, oil shale, and liquid coal. Get document in pdf.
Tracking Oil Washing Ashore on Beaches
Find out which beaches are unaffected by the Gulf oil disaster, and what to do if you encounter spilled oil.

Find out which beaches are unaffected by the Gulf oil disaster, and what to do if you encounter spilled oil.
A Clean Energy Economy for Indiana
Analysis of the Rural Economic Development Potential of Renewable Resources

Indiana's advanced network of rail lines, interstate highways, and waterways has made it "the Crossroads of America." But the global economic downturn has hit Indiana hard, causing the loss of almost 200,000 jobs since the beginning of 2008. Facing an unprecedented set of economic challenges, Indiana is poised for healthy growth if it can take advantage of the enormous potential for development of its renewable resources.
Strengthening American Manufacturing and Investing in the Clean Energy Economy
How Climate and Energy Legislation Can Help America Become the Global Leader in Clean Energy Technologies

Comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation will reduce global warming pollution from America’s manufacturing sector while strengthening the competitiveness of American industry and preserving and increasing the number of good-paying, high-skilled jobs available to American workers. The vast majority of American manufacturers will see little or no cost increases as a result of well-designed climate legislation, and the most energy-intensive firms will receive extra benefits to ensure their international competitiveness. Now is the time to put American workers— and companies—to work building the next generation of clean energy technologies. Get document in pdf.
Tar Sands Invasion
How Dirty and Expensive Oil from Canada Threatens America's New Energy Economy

Fact Sheet
The oil industry is currently planning a massive project to export millions of barrels more per day of dirty tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the United States. Tar sands strip-mining and drilling in Canada’s Boreal forest is the largest and most destructive project on Earth. The decline in oil demand and the rise of alternative energy puts North America on the verge of a phenomenally important step forward toward a new, clean energy economy. Expanding reliance on tar sands is unnecessary, undermines our progress as a nation, and is severely destructive. We have a choice: we can move forward towards a clean energy future with greater national security or remain stuck with the dirty fossil fuels of the past. Get document in pdf.
Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Destroys Communities
Fact Sheet
Mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining is one of the world’s most destructive practices for extracting fossil fuels. This extreme method of strip mining is scarring the landscape and threatening communities. All across Central Appalachia -- between the hollows of West Virginia, bordering the Blue Ridge of Virginia, beyond the bluegrass of Kentucky, and above the smoky vistas of Tennessee -- companies are tearing down mountains to access the coal below. In the process they are clear-cutting miles of forests, filling the rivers with coal mining waste, polluting the waters with toxic runoff, and sacrificing the safety of the people who call this region home. MTR coal mining sites, which can exceed 10 square miles, have already leveled more than 500 summits so far. Get document in pdf.
An Energy Bill Without a Carbon Cap Could Do More Harm than Good
Legislative Analysis
America needs comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation that will cap carbon pollution, create jobs with investments in clean energy, and increase our national security by reducing oil imports. These are urgent matters; halfway measures that would divert time and attention that should be spent on taking effective action need to be taken off the table. Congress needs to reject measures that appear to address the problem but could actually increase global warming pollution. A bill that deals solely with energy could make global warming pollution worse, would fall short on jobs and national security, and would cost taxpayers more than a comprehensive bill. An “energy-only” proposal is not the way to move forward. Get document in pdf.
Simple and Inexpensive Actions Could Reduce Global Warming Emissions by One Billion Tons
Fact Sheet
The United States is the world's second-largest emitter of global warming pollution, currently pumping approximately 7 billion tons of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere every year. U.S. residents have a "carbon footprint" that is more than 20 times larger than people living in many developing countries. If Americans adopted a series of simple inexpensive emissions-reducing measures in the areas of transportation, household energy consumption, diet, and waste over the next ten years, the U.S. could avoid 1 billion tons of emissions in 2020 and save money. Behavioral change and personal action -- in addition to responsible policymaking and technological innovation -- are critical to any successful effort to curb greenhouse gas pollution and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Get document in pdf.
Reducing Imported Oil with Comprehensive Climate and Energy Legislation
Fact Sheet
For far too long our dependence on oil has undermined our economy and national security. We spend a billion dollars a day to import more than three billion barrels of oil each year, much of which comes from dangerous or unstable parts of the world. We can reduce by more than half the amount of oil we import and make strides toward energy independence by accelerating the transition to advanced, fuel-efficient and electric-powered cars and trucks and by increasing domestic oil production from existing oil fields through a process called carbon dioxide-enhanced oil recovery. Only a comprehensive approach that combines limits on carbon pollution with investment incentives to build a cleaner, low-carbon energy economy will reduce our dependence on imported oil and preserve and expand the jobs we need to make America more secure. Get document in pdf.
Driving Growth
How Clean Cars and Climate Policy Can Create Jobs

Issue Paper
The American auto sector -- a longtime source of good-paying, high skills jobs -- is struggling under the weight of this recession. Making vehicles here in the United States that are cleaner and more fuel efficient and therefore more attractive amid rising oil prices represents an opportunity to restore Detroit to global leadership while simultaneously reducing imports of foreign oil and curbing global warming. Fuel efficiency is cleaner, cheaper, and faster than drilling to meet our nation's energy needs, and as this study demonstrates, it can also produce tens of thousands of high quality manufacturing jobs here at home. This report, released jointly with the Center for American Progress and the UAW, illustrates the value of adopting comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation to help retool factories to build the next generation of vehicles that will carry our nation toward a cleaner and more secure energy future. Get document in pdf.
Federal Climate Bills Can Retool the U.S. Auto Industry and Make It More Competitive
Legislative Analysis
Comprehensive energy legislation that includes a cap on global warming pollution will speed development of a new energy economy based on efficiency and clean energy. The automobile manufacturing industry can prosper from these changes if it shifts production from gas guzzlers to cleaner and more efficient cars and trucks. The climate protection bills passed by the House and being considered in the Senate can fund a rapid transition to clean vehicle manufacturing. When combined with strengthened fuel economy and pollution standards, the bills can ensure that U.S. manufacturers are producing the next generation of vehicles that consumers want. Get document in pdf.
A Clean Energy Economy for Arkansas
Analysis of the Rural Economic Development Potential of Renewable Resources

Issue Paper
To secure its economic future, Arkansas has the opportunity to build a strong long-term economy on the solid foundation of its bountiful renewable resources. The state's vast areas of productive farmland, ample water, windy heights and favorable climate combine to give Arkansas the potential to become a national leader in producing the clean energy that America needs.
A Clean Energy Economy for Missouri
Analysis of the Rural Economic Development Potential of Renewable Resources

Issue Paper
Within Missouri's borders, dispersed across the state, are vast resources of wind, land, and water—all the ingredients needed for Missouri to become a national leader in new energy development, creating tens of thousands of good jobs and substantial new sources of income for farmers. This June 2009 issue paper examines the potential for renewable energy resource development in Missouri and its benefits to rural communities.
Reducing Foreclosures and Environmental Impacts through Location-Efficient Neighborhood Design
Fact Sheet
While the nation continues to grapple with a troubling housing market and a rash of mortgage defaults, new research has emerged drawing a direct linkbetween “location efficiency”—a measure of the transportation costs in a given area—and mortgage foreclosure rates. The study shows that factors such as neighborhood compactness, access to public transit, and rates of vehicle ownership are key to predicting mortgage performance and should be taken more seriously by mortgage underwriters, policymakers, and real estate developers. With transportation costs accounting for roughly 17 percent of the average American household’s income, the need for better land use planning and better lending practices has never been more clear. NRDC recommends changes both to planning-related policies and mortgage underwriting procedures that can reduce transportation costs and risk of foreclosure while offering significant environmental benefits. Get document in pdf.
Comments of NRDC on Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program
Comments of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (DPEIS) published by the Farm Service Agency of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), September 24, 2009. Get document in pdf.
Finding the Balance: The Role of Natural Gas in America’s Energy Future
Fact Sheet
By helping the United States reduce its carbon pollution and begin the transition to a sustainable energy future, the efficient use of natural gas can play an important role in meeting America’s energy needs while slowing our contributions to climate change. Recent developments in technology have increased access to natural gas supplies stretching from New York to Texas. Yet, burning natural gas without emission controls creates carbon emissions that ultimately will be too high in relation to America’s need to reduce emissions 80 percent or more by mid-century. In addition, as drilling moves into more communities, many people have become concerned about the negative impacts drilling will have on their lives. Comprehensive regulations ensuring that drilling occurs safely and only in appropriate places can provide a critical vehicle to allow natural gas to fulfill its valuable role in America’s energy future. Get document in pdf.
Summary of Energy and Transportation Provisions in the Economic Recovery Bill
Legislative Analysis
The economic recovery bill -- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ("ARRA"), H.R. 1 -- makes historic large-scale investments in clean energy resources, which will create jobs, save consumers and businesses money on their energy bills, and help our country begin to make significant reductions in global warming pollution. The bill also includes needed investments in transit and high-speed rail. The clean energy investments in ARRA total about $50 billion, which NRDC estimates will create 1.5 million jobs. In addition, the bill contains $17.7 billion for energy-efficient transportation. Get document in pdf.
Identifying Near-Term Opportunities for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) in China
Issue Paper
China is well-positioned to be a global leader in the development and deployment of carbon capture and sequestration (CSS)  technologies that -- with broad support and engagement from the international community -- can be an important tool for reducing carbon emissions as the world transitions to truly clean energy technologies.
Cultivating Clean Energy
The Promise of Algae Biofuels

Issue Paper
Algae-derived gasoline, diesel and jet fuel sound like the imaginings of science fiction, but a growing number of entrepreneurs, investors, academics, and policy makers are working to develop the technologies needed to provide large quantities of biofuels with potentially minimal environmental impacts. This NRDC report takes the big picture view by creating a framework for understanding the environmental challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for this nascent industry.
Protecting New Yorkers’ Health and the Environment by Regulating Drilling in the Marcellus Shale
Fact Sheet
With rising energy costs and fears of more volatility in the future, the natural gas industry is now searching for additional fuel sources. One such source is the natural gas-rich Marcellus Shale, an ancient rock formation that spans 600 miles and four states, including New York. While there may be benefits to drilling this large natural gas reserve, doing so without the proper monitoring and regulation by state and local officials will present a number of serious threats to human health and the environment in New York State. NRDC is therefore working with leaders across the state to ensure that if drilling in the Marcellus Shale occurs in New York, it will be done responsibly and only in appropriate areas. This fact sheet includes recommendations for action you can take to help ensure that gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale does not proceed in New York without full protections for New Yorkers’ health and the environment.
Get document in pdf.
Moving Cooler
Securing America's Energy Future

Fact Sheet
America currently uses nearly 20 million barrels of oil per day--enough to fill more than six of the world’s largest supertankers. More than two-thirds of this oil is used to fuel our cars and trucks, which drive enough miles each day to circle the globe more than 331,000 times. Meeting this demand for oil makes America less secure. We rely on imports for more than 60 percent of our overall oil consumption, leaving us dangerously dependent on other nations. Meanwhile, our oil-fueled transportation system accounts for nearly a third of our total global warming pollution. Technology advancements such as hybrid vehicles and better batteries can decrease our oil use and transportation emissions, but groundbreaking new research sponsored by NRDC and leading transportation experts shows that we must deploy additional strategies to overcome this challenge. Get document in pdf.
Protecting Our Ocean and Coastal Economies
Avoid Unnecessary Risks from Offshore Drilling

Fact Sheet
Healthy oceans are critically important to marine life and to coastal communities whose economies rely on tourism and fishing. Opening up new offshore areas to drilling risks permanent damage to our oceans and beaches without reducing our dependence on oil. When oil spills occur they can bring catastrophic harm to marine life and devastating losses for local businesses. And even routine exploration and drilling activities bring harm to many marine species. The Administration and Congress must work together to assess the environmental impacts of offshore drilling before making key decisions about offshore oil and gas activities in new areas or Alaska. Get document in pdf.
Hybrid Values
Find out what makes a hybrid such a good buy, and learn what’s on the market.

If you're thinking of buying a hybrid, you’re looking at a range of high-tech cars that get great gas mileage, cut polluting emissions and earn you a tax break. Find out what makes a hybrid such a good buy, and learn what’s on the market.
Moving America toward a Clean Energy Economy and Reducing Global Warming Pollution: Legislative Tools
Testimony of David G. Hawkins, Director of Climate Programs, NRDC, before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Hearing on Moving America toward a Clean Energy Economy and Reducing Global Warming Pollution: Legislative Tools, July 7, 2009. Get document in pdf.
Jobs that Build a Better Future
Clean energy investments will create millions of manufacturing jobs and whole new industries

Investing in clean energy can help heal the environment and boost the American economy.
Checklist for Cars
Today's 'To Do' List to Put America on the Road to Clean Transportation

Fact Sheet
America’s commuters just have to look at the morning gridlock to see that our nation’s transportation infrastructure is no longer working. Clogged roads, smog-filled air, and transportation restrictions that fuel our oil dependence and contribute about one-third of our global warming pollution are all indicators that we need to move beyond our outdated approaches to getting around. Cutting-edge solutions available today will make transportation easier, cheaper, and cleaner. NRDC has developed a three-part checklist for adopting smart transportation policies that can carry us into a clean energy future. Get document in pdf.
Homegrown Energy from Biofuels
Fuel and electricity produced from grass, wood and other biomass have the potential to help repower America if carefully developed

Fuel and electricity produced from grass, wood and other biomass have the potential to help repower America, but only if carefully developed to minimize global warming pollution and the potential harm to forests, grasslands and wildlife.
Picking a Clean Energy Plan
NRDC's Plug-In Alternative is More Efficient than the Pickens Plan

Fact Sheet
From oil price volatility to global warming and national security concerns, it is clear that our current reliance on oil is unsustainable. Even oil industry veteran T. Boone Pickens has proposed a plan (the “Pickens Plan”) to rapidly reduce oil dependency by increasing wind power and using natural gas to power vehicles. NRDC agrees with the urgency behind the Pickens Plan and supports the broad expansion of clean, renewable electricity. But the Pickens Plan does not contemplate the full range of options. We believe that pursuing the best outcome rather than preselected technologies will reveal more effective ways to put our natural gas resources to work. As one example, we examine here an alternative proposal, “The Plug-in Alternative,” that would get the most mileage out of our renewable and clean-burning energy sources while sharply reducing our dependence on dirtier sources like oil and coal. Get document in pdf.
Building a sustainable biomass industry in California without sacrificing our unique natural heritage
Sustainable biofuels can be a boon to our economy and our environment

Fact Sheet
Renewable energy, such as biofuels -- specifically, biomass that is sustainably harvested -- can be a boon for our economy and our environment. But biofuels done wrong can actually destroy ecosystems and increase global warming pollution, so it is critically important that all biofuels production includes necessary environmental safeguards. California is in a position to get biofuels right with the state's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which would require oil companies to reduce the global warming pollution footprint of the vehicle fuels they sell. A groundbreaking new study commissioned by NRDC shows that California can ramp up biofuels production to meet the goals of the LCFS without sacrificing our most sensitive lands. Get document in pdf.
Clean, Low-Emission, Affordable, New Transportation Efficiency Act (CLEAN-TEA)
H.R. 1329 can reduce emissions from transportation

Legislative Analysis
The transportation sector is the second-largest and fastest-growing contributor to global warming pollution in the United States, in large part due to steadily rising number of miles that cars and trucks travel each year. Despite some stagnation in the last year because of the economy, driving -- or the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) rate -- has grown by three times the rate of population growth over the past 15 years and is expected to grow by 40 percent by 2030, largely because we've designed the vast majority of our communities in ways that give people no other option but to drive everywhere. While there has been a federal focus on increasing fuel economy of vehicles and decreasing carbon content in fuels, these strategies alone will not be enough to slow and reverse overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector. The number of miles that vehicles travel is the critical, but often forgotten, "third leg" of the transportation stool. Get document in pdf.
Water Efficiency Saves Energy
Reducing Global Warming Through Water Use Strategies

Fact Sheet
The collection, distribution, and treatment of drinking water and wastewater nationwide consume tremendous amounts of energy and release approximately 116 billion pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year -- as much global warming pollution each year as 10 million cars. The energywater connection is particularly strong in the driest regions of the United States, such as the Southwest, where significant amounts of energy are used to import water. Solutions exist to cut both water and energy use. Through water efficiency measures, we can help to protect dry areas from drought, lower consumers' utility bills, and reduce global warming pollution. Get document in pdf.
Limit to Producing "Cheap" Coal Makes Liquid Coal Plans Unworkable
Fact Sheet
While the coal industry has been aggressively promoting the development of a large liquid coal industry in the United States, it is unrealistic to expect that customers could be supplied with domestic coal at reasonable prices. According to the most recent Energy Information Administration Annual Energy Outlook report, if the liquid coal industry grew to the size proposed by industry lobbyists, the United States would have to import coal beginning in just six years. The increased demand created by a liquid coal industry could raise electricity rates as well as increase emissions of global warming pollution, bringing costs that far outweigh the benefits that would come from a large domestic liquid coal industry. Get document in pdf.
Rebuilding for a Clean Energy Economy
Congress and the New Administration Can Create Jobs Through Renewable Energy

Fact Sheet
There has been a lot of bad news about the economy in recent months. But now some good news: America can generate millions of high-paying jobs and create a cleaner environment with one win-win solution—renewable energy. Ramping up renewable energy will bring new jobs to U.S. workers and address the increasingly urgent need for action on global warming. Congress and the new administration should move quickly to pass strong climate legislation that will set a science-based declining cap on global warming pollution and create a new market for clean energy that will put people to work. Get document in pdf.
Testimony on California’s Proposed Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
Testimony of Roland J. Hwang, NRDC's Transportation Program Director, at the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee informational hearing on California's Proposed Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, March 16, 2009. Get document in pdf.
Contaminated Coal Waste
Power plants produce about 130 million tons of contaminated waste every year, and the federal government has failed to regulate it

Across the nation, coal-fired power plants aren't just polluting our skies and water. Each year, they generate millions of tons of waste contaminated with toxic metals -- more than two-thirds of which is dumped into landfills, storage ponds or old mines or otherwise stored somewhere, just waiting for disaster to strike.
The Billion Gallon Challenge
How America Can Produce One Billion Gallons of the Best Biofuels By 2014

Fact Sheet
To avoid the worst impacts of global warming, we need to make low-carbon biofuels work. But the best biofuels have yet to make the jump from the lab to the pump. As a first step, policy makers should stop spending tax dollars on the dirty biofuels of yesterday and start paying for performance, while maintaining our existing safeguards and standards. But that’s not enough. We need to jumpstart the best biofuels and make them work for our economy and our environment. We need a Billion Gallon Challenge. Get document in pdf.
Herseth Sandlin Bill (H.R. 1190) Turns Biofuels into Dirty Fuels
Legislative Analysis
Herseth Sandlin Bill (H.R. 1190) Turns Biofuels into Dirty Fuels Current law ensures the Renewable Fuel Standard's five-fold increase in biofuels results in better fuels, not just different dirty fuels. The Herseth Sandlin bill would strike critical safeguards established by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) and turn an important step forward into a counterproductive leap backward. Get document in pdf.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
An Opportunity to Repower America with a Green Economy

Legislative Analysis
The economic recovery package is a first step toward repowering America with green jobs, refueling our nation with clean energy, and rebuilding the country’s aging transportation and water infrastructure. As the bill moves into its final stages, Congress has a great opportunity to make a serious commitment to energy independence, reducing carbon emissions and protecting our environment while also creating millions of new jobs. In order to assure that these goals are met, NRDC supports the inclusion of these provisions in the final American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Get document in pdf.
Support Renewable Energy Grants Program In House Economic Recovery Bill
Legislative Analysis
For almost two decades, production and investment tax credits have been the primary tool used by the federal government to encourage extensive deployment of clean energy technologies such as wind, solar, and geothermal, and the production of high efficiency appliances. Unfortunately, the current economic climate is drastically reducing profits and thus tax liabilities, which is limiting the effectiveness of these tax credits. Without smart federal action, the construction of new renewable power projects and the manufacture and purchase of new, super-efficient appliances will plummet. Get document in pdf.
Regulating Trading in the Carbon Market
Fact Sheet
America needs strong climate policy that will boost the economy and reduce dangerous global warming pollution. A key piece of successful climate legislation will be a carbon market that allows non-polluting companies to trade carbon credits. But unregulated or self-regulated trading involves important risks. Climate legislation should require strong carbon market regulations to ensure success. Get document in pdf.
Developing the Technology of the Future
Federal Climate Legislation Can Maximize Low-Carbon Technology Innovation

Fact Sheet
America needs strong federal action to contain the threat of global warming. But a series of barriers stand in the way of the technology innovation needed to develop a clean energy economy at the lowest possible long-term cost to society. Strategically increasing research, development, and demonstration (known as RD&D) funding for low-carbon technologies can help to overcome these barriers and jumpstart innovation. Get document in pdf.
Kick-Starting Building Efficiency
A Policy Workplan for Maximizing the Economic Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Fact Sheet
The buildings sector is the largest source of global warming pollution in the United States, including emissions from generating the electricity used in buildings. Buildings and the appliances within them currently account for roughly one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and that number is on the rise. Fortunately, buildings also offer the quickest and most cost-effective opportunity to reduce global warming pollution while yielding direct economic benefits, saving consumers money and boosting U.S. industry. Energy efficiency measures such as retrofitting existing buildings and increasing the energy efficiency of new buildings can generate net savings using technology that exists today. NRDC recommends a clear set of policy solutions for reaping the immediate benefits of building efficiency. Get document in pdf.
Scenes from a Dirty Coal Disaster
A coal ash spill in Tennessee shows the dangers of toxic sludge produced by coal-fired power plants

Photo Album
Images from a coal ash spill in Tennessee show the dangers of toxic sludge produced by coal-fired power plants.
Why Cap and Invest is Better Than a Carbon Tax
Fact Sheet
While there is widespread support for the goal of reducing our emission of global warming pollution by 80 percent by 2050, there is a vigorous debate about the best means for reaching that goal. Advocates for a carbon tax suggest that it would be simpler and more transparent than a cap and invest system, but such arguments often compare a “real-world” cap and invest design with an idealized carbon tax. When factoring in the pressure for special accommodations in the legislative process that will undoubtedly face either system, a cap and invest program is preferable to implementing a carbon tax. The following list offers five reasons, including greater certainty where it counts and more flexibility where it is needed, why a cap and invest system will best help us meet the urgent goal of reducing global warming pollution. Get document in pdf.
Obama Takes Action on Clean Cars
NRDC's Frances Beinecke welcomes President Obama's support of lower emissions and higher fuel efficiency standards

Less than a week into office, President Obama announced monumental decisions that show America and the world that he will lead our country in a bold new direction to protect the environment and fight global warming.
Cap 2.0: Investing in America
Comprehensive climate legislation that caps greenhouse gas emissions while spurring a surge in clean energy investments is the best way to achieve the reductions necessary to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of global warming. Learn more about NRDC's policy recommendations for the next generation of climate legislation, Cap 2.0.
Repowering America: Building a Bridge from Crisis to a New Energy Economy
Fact Sheet
The global financial crisis presents challenges for the U.S. economy unlike any seen in generations. While spending alone will not deliver us from this difficult period of slowing economic activity, smart and targeted investment in repowering America can. We can create millions of jobs, improve our energy security, and reduce the harmful effects of climate change by putting a price on carbon emissions and investing in the industries that will form the base of our clean energy future. Get document in pdf.
Coal is Dirty and Dangerous
Efficiency and renewables are better options for repowering America with clean energy

Coal is America’s No. 1 global warming polluter, despite the industry hype. Clean energy alternatives are better choices for our health, welfare and the U.S. economy.
NRDC Follow-up Comments to the December 15, 2008 CEC Hearing on TV Efficiency Standards
Written comments by NRDC senior scientist Noah Horowitz submitted on January 14, 2009 as a follow-up to oral testimony provided during the December 15, 2008 CEC hearing on the proposed minimum efficiency standards for new TVs sold in California. Get document in pdf.
Clean Energy Saves Americans Money
Clean Energy is the Real Solution to Unpredictable Oil Prices

Fact Sheet
Clean energy is cheaper and cleaner than oil, and the amount of fuel we can get from clean energy measures dwarfs what can be scraped from drilling. New NRDC analysis shows that, unlike dirty fuel options, clean energy strategies can actually save drivers money while reducing our oil dependency and slashing global warming pollution from the transportation sector. Get document in pdf.
Clean Energy: The Solution to Volatile Gas Prices
Fact Sheet
Newly updated NRDC analysis shows that the oil savings from clean energy measures can far outpace the potential oil production of drilling in America's protected areas. The real solution to volatile gas prices and oil dependency is a strategy that relies on energy efficiency, clean fuels, and transportation choices such as commuter rail -- not drilling. Get document in pdf.
Cleaning Up Diesel Trucks in California
Millions in Funding Available Each Year

Fact Sheet
Heavy-duty trucks in California are the largest single source of diesel pollution, leading to thousands of illnesses and deaths each year. Pollution from diesel trucks was responsible for roughly 1,500 premature deaths in 2005, and the costs of this loss of life in addition to disease, lost work days, and school absences adds up to $12 billion per year. However, diesel pollution could easily be prevented through upgrades to the existing truck fleet, and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is seeking to do just that with the upcoming diesel truck regulation. While truck owners may be wary of the added costs of upgrades that will be required, much funding has been made available by the state to offset those costs. Get document in pdf.
Danger in the Nursery
Impact of Tar Sands Oil Development in Canada’s Boreal on Birds

Each spring more than half of America's birds flock to the Canadian Boreal forest to nest. There, tens of millions of birds -- as many as 500 breeding pairs per square mile of forests, lakes, river valleys, and wetlands -- spend the winter. Yet almost all the biggest oil companies are mining and drilling important Boreal forest and wetlands to access thick, low-grade petroleum.
Lowering the Cost of Play
Improving Energy Efficiency of Video Game Consoles

Issue Paper
Today, more than 40 percent of all homes in the United States contain at least one video game console. In this November 2008 issue paper, NRDC provides recommendations for users, video game console manufacturers, component suppliers and the software companies that design games for improving the efficiency of video game consoles already in homes as well as future generations of machines yet to hit the shelves.
Tax credits for Energy-efficient Commercial Buildings
Extension of the tax credits for energy-efficient commercial buildings, homes, and appliances will save Americans money and reduce global warming pollution

Legislative Analysis
The cheapest, cleanest and quickest response to global warming and high natural gas prices is to target energy efficiency. Studies have shown that energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to reduce global warming pollution.
Building the Wheels of the Clean Energy Economy
Public Transportation for the 21st Century

Fact Sheet
In too many cities and towns across the nation, Americans are spending more time in their cars—and stuck in traffic—when traveling between home, work, and school. This dangerous reliance on our vehicles, which keeps us addicted to oil and causes serious pollution, is a threat to our health, environment, and national security. Developing a modern, efficient public transportation infrastructure will create millions of jobs, reduce our reliance on foreign oil, combat global warming and serve as the foundation of the clean energy economy. Get document in pdf.
Offshore Drilling Threatens Our Beaches, Oceans, Coastal Communities and Marine Life
Legislative Analysis
President Bush and some members of Congress are pressing to open offshore areas that have been protected from oil drilling for many years, including the east and west coasts and Florida.
NRDC Follow-up Comments on July 2008 CEC TV Standards Hearing
Supplemental written comments in reference to the CEC's rulemaking to establish minimum energy performance standards for new televisions sold in California, submitted by Noah Horowitz, NRDC senior scientist, July 18, 2008. Get document in pdf.
Tapping into Stranded Domestic Oil
Enhanced Oil Recovery with Carbon Dioxide Is a Win-Win-Win

Fact Sheet
The country has a significant, untapped win-win-win opportunity to stimulate our economy and reduce our dependence on imported oil while actually helping to protect wild places and reduce global warming pollution: a process known as carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR). According to industry research CO2-EOR would give America access to large, domestic oil resources -- potentially more than four times the proven U.S. reserves, or up to 10 full years of our total national consumption. But without the stimulus of climate protection legislation, CO2 for oil recovery is likely to remain in short supply and most of this domestic oil resource will stay in the ground. Get document in pdf.
Testimony of Nathanael Greene, Director of Renewable Energy Policy, on Biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard
In this testimony presented before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, Nathanael makes the case for protecting key environmental safeguards in the RFS and proactively addressing the food vs fuel debate through reforming the biofuels tax credits and import tariffs by making them performance based and technology neutral.
Congressional Testimony of Deron Lovaas, Vehicles Campaign Director: Future Federal Role for Surface Transportation
In this testimony, delivered before the Senator Environment and Public Works Committee, Lovaas discusses the role of the federal government in determining transportation policy. With high gas prices at the pump affecting families across the country, he offers an in-depth analysis of policy prescriptions to lessen our addiction to oil, and create a more economically and environmentally sustainable transportation sector.
Protect Our Friendly Skies
Gassing up on tar sands, liquid coal, and oil shale would sharply increase aviation emissions

Fact Sheet
The aviation industry should not use dirty fuels and should instead focus on emission reduction techniques. Get document in pdf.
The Tejon Ranch model
On environmental issues, the middle road doesn't suit everybody. But it can preserve a lot of wilderness for posterity.

On environmental issues, the middle road doesn't suit everybody. But it can preserve a lot of wilderness for posterity.
Statement on the Amended Renewable Fuel Standard
Testimony by Nathanael Greene before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality on the importance of the minimum lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions standards and land and wildlife safeguards in the recently amended renewable fuel standard.
Compact Fluorescent Lights Are Safe for Your Home
Fact Sheet
CFLs are safe, and can help your family save energy and money. Get document in pdf.
Putting Biofuels on the Right Track
Renewable Fuels Standard Safeguards Protect Wildlife and the Environment

Fact Sheet
RFS safeguards can ensure that biofuels are done right, and don't just become another dirty fuel. Get document in pdf.
Plug In for a Greener Future
A new breed of hybrid cars could play a big role in cutting global warming pollution.

The plug-in hybrid -- a new breed of hybrid that relies more heavily on electricity than gas -- uses bigger, longer-lasting hybrid batteries that can charge overnight on your home's electricity and power cars for up to 40 miles at one go.
Testimony on the Environmental and Health Impacts of Oil and Gas Exploration and Production
Testimony of Amy Mall, Senior Policy Analyst, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), on the applicability of federal requirements that protect public health and the environment to oil and gas development. Presented to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, United States House of Representatives, October 31, 2007.
Drilling Down
Protecting Western Communities from the Health and Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Production

Oil and gas production releases pollution that can have serious impacts on people's health and the surrounding air, water, and land. Although these operations are frequently located near homes, schools, and other community resources, the oil and gas industry enjoys numerous exemptions from provisions of federal laws intended to protect human health and the environment.
The Drill in the Backyard
Photo Album
Domestic oil and natural gas production has soared in recent years as our demand for energy continues to rise. Much of this growth is occurring in the Rocky Mountain region, where well pads, waste pits and giant compressors mar the legendary western landscape of wide vistas and soaring peaks.
Testimony on Implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS)
Testimony by NRDC Senior Policy Analyst, Nathanael Greene, before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, October 24, 2007. This testimony address the environmental promises and challenges of biofuels, the general policies needed to get biofuels right and the changes to the proposed expanded renewable fuels standard needed to drive the market for the best biofuels technologies.
Coal Is Hazardous to Your Health
Coal-fired power plants threaten the environment and your health.

Burning coal releases enormous amounts of harmful pollutants into the air and water, with serious health consequences. Waste generated by coal-fired power plants contains hazardous pollutants that can contaminate our drinking water and cause cancer, birth defects and reproductive problems. This index of fact sheets describes the health hazards of our continued reliance on coal.
Getting Biofuels Right
Eight steps for reaping real environmental benefits from biofuels

Fact Sheet
America's transportation sector is the key link between our ever-growing dependence on oil and global warming pollution. The oil that powers our cars and trucks accounts for two-thirds of our total oil use and generates one-third of the U.S. carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming. Energy efficiency is the cleanest, cheapest, and fastest way to cut oil demand, but it is only a part of the package. NRDC research shows that liquid motor vehicle fuels made from plant matter, such as ethanol, butanol, and biodiesel, can be a large and important tool for ending our dependence on oil and stopping global warming -- but only if we get them right. Get document in pdf.
Reducing Hawaii’s Petroleum Dependence
A new biodiesel policy for Hawaiian Electric could jumpstart sustainable agricultural energy in Hawaii.

A new biodiesel policy for Hawaiian Electric could jumpstart sustainable agricultural energy in Hawaii.
The Next Generation of Hybrid Cars
Plug-in Hybrids Can Help Reduce Global Warming and Slash Oil Dependency

Fact Sheet
Plug-in hybrid vehicles are the next new technology that can help Americans use less gas at the pump. Get document in pdf.
Driving It Home: Choosing the Right Path for Fueling North America's Transportation Future
Choosing the Right Path for Fueling North America's Transportation Future

North America faces an energy crossroads. With the world fast approaching the end of cheap, plentiful conventional oil, we must choose between developing ever-dirtier sources of fossil fuels -- at great cost to our health and environment -- or setting a course for a more sustainable energy future of clean, renewable fuels.
Treating America's Oil Addiction
A Clean, Renewable Path to Energy Security

Fact Sheet
Our future depends on reducing our oil demand now. Get document in pdf.
Trash Landings
How Airlines and Airports Can Clean Up Their Recycling Programs

The U.S. airline industry discards enough aluminum cans each year to build 58 Boeing 747 airplanes, along with thousands of tons of plastics, magazines and newspapers. All of this waste represents unrealized potential for airlines and airports to save money, reduce global warming pollution and improve efficiency.
Biofuels: The Growing Solution to Energy Dependence and Global Warming
The Growing Solution to Energy Dependence and Global Warming

In the fight to stop global warming and break our addiction to oil America needs to employ all our ingenuity. We need more efficient vehicles and we need a clean and renewable alternative to oil. Biofuels produced and used responsibly can be a component of a strategy to beat back global warming. This index collects NRDC studies, analyses and other policy materials that answer some of the most pressing questions about these fuels.
NRDC's New York Office
By making use of natural light and readily available energy-saving features, our retro-fitted office uses about one-third the energy of a conventional space.

NRDC renovated our New York City office in 1989 with the goal of putting our environmental principles into practice -- designing an office that would dramatically cut down on our energy use, while at the same time demonstrating to architects, builders, and businesses around the country that "green building" concepts can go hand in hand with pleasant, productive, professional workspaces.
Environmental Characteristics of Smart Growth Neighborhoods
Case Studies in Sacramento and Nashville

Issue Paper
These studies, published in October 2000 and February 2003 for NRDC in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, suggest that the environmental benefits of smart growth are real and can be measured.
What Parents Need to Know About Diesel School Buses
If your kids are riding a diesel bus to school, chances are they're being exposed to unacceptable cancer risk.

Answers to questions including: What are the health effects of diesel exhaust inside school buses? Are all diesel buses equally dangerous? What can I do to reduce my children's exposure to diesel exhaust?
No Breathing in the Aisles
Diesel Exhaust Inside School Buses

This February 2001 study from NRDC and the Coalition for Clean Air shows that children who ride a diesel school bus may be exposed to up to four times more toxic diesel exhaust than someone traveling in a car directly in front of it. The study found that excess exhaust levels on school buses were 23 to 46 times higher than levels considered to be a significant cancer risk according to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and federal guidelines.
The Leaded Gas Scare of the 1920s
Corporate enthusiasm for this 'super fuel' overcame public fears until scientific evidence proved its harmful effects.

The invention of gasoline additive tetraethyl lead in the 1920s was a great technological advance, improving the performance of gasoline-fueled engines. But in 1924, reports of its harmful and sometimes deadly effects were hushed up, and leaded gas continued to power big American cars for another 50 years. Although finally banned in the U.S. and other industrialized nations, leaded gasoline use continues in many developing countries.

For additional policy documents, see the NRDC Document Bank.
For older publications available only in print, click here.
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