Policy Solutions: Fact Sheets

All Fact Sheets

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.
8 Things We Hate About Summer are Getting Worse with Climate Change...And What We Can Do About Them
Fact Sheet
Along with all that we love about summer, the dog days are also increasingly bringing extreme heat waves, bad air days, ticks, poison ivy, foodborne illnesses, risky swimming and ruined park visits, and so on. They will get worse unless we take serious actions to combat climate change, because carbon pollution is driving up temperatures, supercharging these summer hazards.
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.
Successfully Rebuilding American Fisheries Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act
Fact Sheet
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is working to protect and rebuild America's ocean fish populations. Rebounding fish populations create jobs, support coastal economies, repair damaged marine ecosystems, provide increased recreational fishing opportunities and supply fresh, local seafood.
Big Fuel Savings Available in New Trucks
Strong standards can reduce freight truck fuel consumption by 40 percent
Fact Sheet
New federal fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, which will be implemented in two phases, can dramatically reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from trucks on the nation's roads. Strong standards can improve our energy security and cut heat-trapping emissions while saving money for truckers and fleets.
New Carbon Pollution Standards Can Save American Households $13 Billion on Electric Bills, Create 274,000 Jobs
Climate Action Delivers Major Economic and Health Benefits
Fact Sheet
Leading scientists makes it clear that all Americans have an obligation to address climate change now, chiefly by reducing the carbon pollution fueling changes we're already seeing. In doing so, we can reap substantial benefits to our economy while protecting future generations. Under the Clean Air Act, the U.S. EPA is moving now to curb power plant carbon pollution, which makes up 40 percent of our nation's total carbon footprint.
Foster Farms Spread Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria around the Nation, Sickening Hundreds
Fact Sheet
In 2013, the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked Foster Farms, the sixth largest chicken producer in the country and the largest chicken company in the Western U.S. to an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg. According to the CDC, 524 people from 25 states and Puerto Rico have become ill since March 2013.
California Snowpack and the Drought
Fact Sheet
Snowpack, vital to California's water supply, has long replenished the state's reservoirs naturally in advance of the dry summer and fall months. Snowpack normally provides one-third of the water used by California's cities and farms each year. But if drought conditions persist, 2014's April snowpack measurements could be among the lowest since state snow surveys began in 1930.
Economic Opportunities of Cutting Carbon Pollution and Climate Change
Fact Sheet
The president has laid out a comprehensive National Climate Plan to curb pollution, expand clean energy, and make our communities more resilient. The plan also presents a tremendous economic opportunity for businesses, communities, states, and our country.
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.
Help Protect Our Ocean for the Future
Fact Sheet
The Mid-Atlantic States' ocean waters face growing challenges, from pollution to loss of habitat and sometimes competing industrial uses. The offshore waters serve as migratory corridors for much ocean life, including endangered North Atlantic right whales, sea turtles and many fish species, yet they are an increasingly busy place.
Non-Lethal Methods to Prevent Conflicts Between Predators and Livestock
Fact Sheet
Every year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services program kills thousands of predators as a taxpayer-funded subsidy to the livestock industry, using controversial and inhumane methods such as poisons and aerial gunning. Wildlife Services largely ignores the many non-lethal ways to prevent conflicts between predators and livestock. In fact, a small, but growing number of ranchers are turning away from Wildlife Services’ “sledgehammer” approach and emphasizing non-lethal conflict-prevention techniques because they recognize that predators are an integral part of the landscapes where they ranch. Get document in pdf.
Stop Predator Poisons from Killing Wildlife and Harming Ecosystems
There's No Place for These Deadly Poisons on American Lands
Fact Sheet
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services' predator control program uses sodium cyanide and Compound 1080, two deadly and inhumane poisons that are dangerous to people and environmentally destructive.  NRDC is urging Wildlife Services to reexamine its predator control practices and end its use of sodium cyanide and Compound 1080.
Get document in pdf.
India: Addressing Climate Change and Moving Towards a Low-Carbon Future
Fact Sheet
India is becoming an economic powerhouse and a global leader. Despite the recent economic slowdown, India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 5 to 7 percent is among the highest for large economies. To maintain this growth rate, India's energy consumption is projected to increase by 54 percent between 2011 and 2020. This rapid growth and the accompanying increase in greenhouse gas emissions raise national concerns about climate change. As it develops, India is moving to reduce emissions intensity to protect its people and environment. This fact sheet outlines the steps that India is taking to grow a low-carbon economy. Get document in pdf.
List of NRDC's Post-Sandy Priorities for Governmental Action
Fact Sheet
This list summarizes NRDC's top ten priority issues one year after Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of the East Coast. Get document in pdf.
America’s Underwater Parks
The Marine Life Protection Act Safeguards Our Special Undersea Places
Fact Sheet
More than 130 years ago, the United States began to protect our most treasured areas on land by creating National Parks. Now, California has extended that kind of protection to special marine areas by creating underwater parks. In December 2012, the state completed a network of marine parks along its entire coast to help sustain and revitalize the rich web of ocean life. Get document in pdf.
Evaluating Mercury Control Technologies for Coal Power Plants
Fact Sheet
Coal fired power plants may be able to achieve mercury reductions of 90 percent or more as a co-benefit of existing pollution control devices already used by the plant. Controls designed to remove other pollutants can remove a substantial amount of mercury under certain conditions. Get document in pdf.
Summary of Recent Mercury Emission Limits for Power Plants in the United States and China
Fact Sheet
Both China and the United States have adopted landmark standards to curb mercury emissions among other pollutants as well from power plants, addressing the largest global source of mercury air pollution. Globally, coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury emissions, with China and the United States contributing a significant portion. In China, power plant emissions standards are expected to deliver mercury reductions in 2015, mainly through controls for other air pollutants, but nevertheless significant. In the U.S., significant mercury reductions are expected from coal-fired power plants beginning in 2016. Get document in pdf.
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.
Saving Our Seas
Protecting Our Oceans for the Future
Fact Sheet
Healthy oceans are essential to our survival. They provide food, jobs, and recreation that we rely on. They create the very air we breathe. But our oceans and coasts are facing innumerable threats -- from overexploitation and pollution to ocean acidification and invasive species -- and need urgent attention. The new National Ocean Policy, adopted by President Obama in July 2010, improves the way we manage our oceans, reducing duplicative efforts and conflicting government actions, and focusing attention on the most serious issues jeopardizing ocean health. We must ensure that sufficient funding is dedicated to the National Ocean Policy to protect our oceans and coasts, and the communities and economies they support, for generations to come. Get document in pdf.
Never Eliminate Public Advice!
Fact Sheet
With an emphasis on "smart from the start" federal decision making, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) protects our health, our homes, and our environment. Thanks to this law, hundreds of millions of Americans have participated in important federal decisions. We are able to know the risk a government project or practice could pose to our community or health because of NEPA -- and we are guaranteed a voice.
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.
The High Cost Of Doing Nothing
Americans Already Are Paying Billions in a Climate Disruption Tax Amid Inaction on Climate Change
Fact Sheet
While policymakers in Washington debate what to do about climate change, it is already costing the American people tens of billions of dollars every year, and the costs are rising. In 2012, that price tag was especially high: Climate-related droughts, super storms, hurricanes, blizzards, heat waves, and wildfires in the United States killed 349 people and caused an estimated $139 billion in damages. Across the nation, more than 3,500 monthly weather records for heat, rain, and snow were shattered -- a new, all-time high. While it is difficult to tie individual extreme weather events to climate change, the science is unequivocal: the growing accumulation of carbon pollution ringing our planet turbocharges what once were just natural disasters. Now, their intensity is increasingly man-made.
A Major Opportunity: Preventing Runoff Pollution and Flooding
Fact Sheet
Runoff from streets and parking lots after it rains is a significant cause of flooding and a leading cause of pollution to our streams, rivers, and lakes nationwide. Communities across the country have proved that there are cost-effective solutions for ensuring clean water: green infrastructure has emerged as the most reliable and cost-effective path toward achieving clean water while providing multiple community benefits.
The 5 Stupidest Chemicals That Shouldn’t be in Your House
Fact Sheet
As you begin the annual spring cleaning purge, make sure that you aren't leaving behind a house filled with toxic chemicals that can harm you, your family, and your pets.
Spreading Like Wildfire
Oil and gas leases mean that fracking could occur on tens of millions of acres of U.S. lands
Fact Sheet
According to a new NRDC analysis, at the end of 2011, 70 of the largest oil and gas companies operating in the United States held leases covering at least 141 million net acres of American land -- an area approximately the size of California and Florida combined.
Climate Change and Water Resource Management
Adaptation Strategies for Protecting People and the Environment
Fact Sheet
From urban and agricultural water supplies to flood management and aquatic ecosystem protection, global warming is affecting all aspects of water resource management in the United States. Rising temperatures, loss of snowpack, escalating size and frequency of flood events, and rising sea levels are just some of the impacts of climate change that have broad implications for the management of water resources. Reducing the global warming pollution that causes climate change is a critical step we must take, but water resource managers and elected officials must act now to prepare for the impacts of the warming that have already occurred or are unavoidable. Get document in pdf.
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.
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.
Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
Helping California Break Its Addiction to Oil
Fact Sheet
The best solution to dealing with volatile California gasoline prices is to use less oil and encourage greater investments in cleaner, alternative fuels that help diversify our fuel supply. California's low-carbon fuel standard is one of the state's key measures developed to do just that.
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.
Saving Leftovers Saves Money and Resources
Fact Sheet

Feeding the U.S. population requires an enormous amount of land and resources. Yet 40 percent of food in the U.S. goes to waste. When the resources to grow that food are considered, this amounts to approximately 25 percent of all freshwater, 4 percent of the oil we consume, and more than $165 billion dollars all dedicated to producing food that never gets eaten. Reducing your own food waste is an easy way to trim down your bills and your environmental footprint.

Hydraulic Fracturing Can Potentially Contaminate Drinking Water Sources
Fact Sheet
Communities across the country are concerned about the risks that oil and gas production using fracking poses to drinking water sources, and scientists and environmentalists are increasingly concerned about groundwater and surface water contamination that may be associated directly or indirectly with fracking. NRDC opposes expanded fracking until effective safeguards are in place.
When the Treatment is Toxic
Pesticides in Head Lice Prescriptions
Fact Sheet
Lindane--a dangerous insecticide--is often used in medication to treat head lice and scabies. The U.S. should adopt bans on lindane to protect the public and the environment. Get document in pdf.
Sources of Beachwater Pollution
Fact Sheet
Most beach closings and advisories are issued because beachwater monitoring has detected bacteria that indicate the presence of pathogens -- microscopic organisms from human and animal wastes that pose a threat to human health. The key known contributors of these contaminants are stormwater runoff, untreated or partially treated discharges from sewage treatment systems, discharges from sanitary sewers and septic systems, and wildlife. Get document in pdf.
The Impacts of Beach Pollution
Fact Sheet
Polluted beachwater makes swimmers sick and hurts coastal economies. Illnesses associated with polluted beachwater include conditions such as stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, meningitis, and hepatitis. In addition to the health risks from polluted beachwater, economists have estimated that a typical swimming day is worth approximately $35 to each individual, so depending on the number of potential visitors to a beach, the "consumer surplus" loss on a day that the beach is closed or under advisory for water quality problems can be quite significant. 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.
India at Rio+20: Putting Commitments into Action
Fact Sheet
At the upcoming 2012 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, India will join over 135 heads of state and thousands of representatives from governments, business, and civil society to discuss sustainable development and the green economy. As a rapidly growing economy that is tackling the pressing challenges of development, India can lead in commitments during the Summit and in their implementation afterward. Working with partners in India, NRDC recommends practical actions to integrate sustainability objectives with economic growth, aligning with India’s priorities to address climate change, energy, food, water, and managing urbanization. India’s leadership, in translating its commitments into actions, is critical to helping the world meet the challenges of building a green economy. 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.
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.
Sharing the Range
A Place for Wild Bison on Today’s Landscape
Fact Sheet
Tens of millions of wild plains bison once roamed the grasslands of North America, but the slaughter of the late 1800s so devastated the famous herds that at one time only a few dozen animals remained in the wild, tucked away in a remote valley in Yellowstone National Park. Though they have since bounced back from the brink of extinction, today the vast majority of bison in the United States are raised as livestock on private property. But there is great potential for restoring wild bison to the landscape, and living with bison is possible. The Natural Resources Defense Council believes it is time to recover bison as a wildlife species and give wild bison more habitat—room to roam in the American West. Get document in pdf.
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.
The Gulf’s Dolphin Die-Off
Fact Sheet
Researchers found that bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, an area that was heavily exposed to oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, were underweight and anemic, with suppressed immune systems and signs of liver and lung disease. In this fact sheet, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) compares the new mortalities to prior strandings of Gulf dolphins and probes their connection to the BP spill.
Less Driving, More Saving
The Economic Benefits of Cutting Car Travel
Fact Sheet
The commonly held belief that more driving fosters economic growth is simply a myth. Fortunately, the fact that the two are not linked is good news for our pocketbooks, our commutes, and our environment. Efforts to cut driving and reduce traffic are most definitely good for the economy. When we look at efforts to both make our transportation system more efficient—using carpool lanes or more transit—and change land use to reduce theneed to drive—via transit-friendly development and walkable neighborhoods—we see that the economic benefits are significant. Get document in pdf.
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.
More Water, Less Waste
Improving Global Sanitation and Freshwater Access with Waterless Toilets and Rainwater Harvesting
Fact Sheet
Around the world, temperatures are rising and sources of freshwater are becoming increasingly unpredictable. Two and a half billion people already lack access to basic sanitation, and nearly one billion people lack access to safe drinking water. Adding to the problem, global warming is expected to lead to more floods and more droughts, both of which reduce the availability of safe, clean freshwater for drinking, sanitation, irrigation and other basic needs. Fortunately, there are technologies such as waterless toilets and rainwater harvesting that can be deployed immediately -- and cost-effectively -- to improve sanitation, protect existing supplies of freshwater, and create new sources of safe water. Get document in pdf.
Safe Water in Peril
Addressing the Effects of Global Warming on Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation
Fact Sheet
Nearly eight hundred million people do not have access to safe drinking water, and two and a half billion people live without adequate sanitation. These dire conditions already pose the greatest worldwide threat to environmental health, and global warming is making matters worse. More frequent, severe droughts and floods are increasing water shortages and causing widespread contamination and sanitation challenges. To avoid an outright global water catastrophe, local, national, and international leaders must urgently pursue a two-part strategy of reducing pollution to minimize further climate change and prepare vulnerable communities to deal with the changes in climate already in progress. Get document in pdf.
Water for the World
Solving the World’s Most Pressing Environmental Health Problem
Fact Sheet
For the nearly one billion people who don't have access to it, clean water is the world's most pressing problem. Lack of safe drinking water and sanitation is the single largest cause of illness in the world, contributing to the deaths of 2 million people a year, the majority of which are children. The solutions to this global public health crisis are well-known and cost-effective, yet more than 780 million people are without clean drinking water, and approximately 2.5 billion lack adequate sanitation.2 In 2005, recognizing the urgency of the crisis, the United States passed the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act, landmark legislation designed to address the need for global affordable and equitable access to safe water and sanitation. Get document in pdf.
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.
Is Driving Driving the Economy?
Research Shows We Can Thrive More With Less Traffic
Fact Sheet
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has examined the connection between traffic and economic development. What is the relationship between America’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the amount Americans drive,or vehicle miles travelled (VMT)? The answer to this question is vital if we want to both revive a flagging economy and keep our air free of pollution. Fortunately, a look at recent trends and the relationships between VMT, GDP, and household income show that the amount we drive, in fact, does not drive economic growth. 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.
Lurking in the Weeds: A Lawn Care Pesticide Threatens Health and is Poised to Get Worse
Fact Sheet
Despite dozens of scientific studies that link the toxic pesticide 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid) to cancer and other health risks such as cell damage, hormonal interference, and reproductive problems, 46 million pounds of 2,4-D are applied to U.S. lawns, playgrounds, golf courses, and millions of acres of agricultural land every year. This toxic pesticide contaminates our air and water, finds its way into our homes where it poses a higher risk to children, and the use of 2,4-D could be on the rise if new genetically modified corn and soybean crops are approved. To protect the health of thousands of Americans, NRDC recommends that the Environmental Protection Agency restrict use of 2,4-D and that the U.S. Department of Agriculture not allow new 2,4-D Ready crops on the market. Get document in pdf.
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.
Stopping the Massive HidroAysén Dam Project to Protect Patagonia’s Natural Heritage
Fact Sheet
Chile’s Patagonia is one of the last untouched regions left on the planet. Among its lush fjords, dense rainforests, snow-capped glaciers, and powerful wild rivers, local communities live with a rich traditional culture. Yet, this unspoiled region and its communities are threatened by plans for a massive hydroelectric complex called HidroAysén that would dam two of Patagonia’s largest and wildest rivers. HidroAysén’s environmental review was deeply flawed and the Chilean public is strongly against the project. The project is simply not a wise investment. Get document in pdf.
Reject the American Energy and Infrastructure Act (H.R. 7)
Fact Sheet
Republican leadership is hijacking a must-pass bill in order to advance an extreme agenda. Faced with a $75 billion gap in the transportation reauthorization bill, they are pushing the so-called American Energy and Infrastructure Act (H.R. 7), which vastly expands irresponsible oil drilling, and as a ploy says the revenues will be used to fund transportation. If enacted, H.R. 7 would, at best, produce less than 1 percent of the revenue needed to fund the transportation bill. This proposal would not create jobs. Rather, it would kill a transportation bill--the one true jobs bill Congress could pass this year even though there is a bipartisan approach moving through the Senate. Get document in pdf.
Fighting Climate Effects: Protecting People from Extreme Heat in One of India’s Fastest-Growing Cities
Fact Sheet
Ahmedabad, one of the top 10 fastest-growing cities in India, experiences dangerously high daily temperatures for several months out of the year. Recently, the city experienced its most harsh heat wave season, with four months of extreme temperatures reaching 122° Fahrenheit (50° Celsius) in 2010. Although national programs exist to address many effects of climate change in India, the country has yet to implement strategies to adapt to the extreme effects of increasing heat. In response, NRDC and our on-the-ground partners, the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar (IIPH), are working with city officials and leaders in Ahmedabad to protect people from the city’s extreme heat exacerbated by climate change. Get document in pdf.
Clean Water Saves Lives
Fact Sheet
Every day in the United States, most people walk a few feet to a clean and private bathroom, and turn on the tap: a flow of fresh, clean drinking water gushes out. At the same time, there are women and girls all around the globe who are not as fortunate. Women and girls are often responsible for collecting water for their families, a task that takes hours each day and can limit time for other things, such as school. Instead of turning on the tap, they have to make a dangerous trek of more than three and a half miles, on average, to gather water for their families. The water they collect, while desperately needed, is not always clean or safe for human consumption. When they need to use the bathroom, they often retreat to the forest or bush because there is no toilet available, which then contaminates the very water they are drinking. Get document in pdf.
NRDC Pesticides Team: Protecting Against Chemicals Designed to Kill
Fact Sheet
Long before organic foods were a staple product line for major grocers, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) was an advocate for pesticide-free products and dedicated itself to eliminating the unseen dangers of chemicals in our food. While we've achieved many successes, NRDC's Pesticides team continues to push the EPA to remove the most dangerous pesticides from the market and to educate consumers, food growers, and business leaders about sustainable alternatives. Get document in pdf.
Volumetric Wastewater Pricing
Volumetric pricing for sanitary sewer service in California would save water and money
Fact Sheet
Volumetric sewer pricing is the simple concept of billing a customer for the volume of water discharged to the sewer based on the water meter reading -- water the customer actually uses as opposed to a flat charge. The less water a customer uses, the less the bill will be.
Healthy Oceans Need Smart Planning
Fact Sheet
We demand a lot from our oceans -- from fishing and tourism, to shipping and energy development. These human uses and the environmental needs of the sea have been governed haphazardly -- overseen by more than 140 laws and 20 agencies, each with different goals and often conflicting mandates. But our oceans and coasts are stressed from problems like pollution, depleted fish populations, dying coral, endangered species, warmer temperatures and ocean acidification. If not carried out wisely, growing industrial use of these waters will lead to “ocean sprawl,” further threatening the health of our valuable marine resources and jeopardizing the food, jobs and recreation our oceans provide. By planning ahead for our human needs from the sea we can reduce conflicts and keep ocean waters and life healthy. Get document in pdf.
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.
HidroAysén's Environmental Impact Review
Weaknesses and Needed Solutions
Fact Sheet
Chile’s environmental review of large energy projects has been a repeated source of conflict for communities, companies, and the government. Large and harmful projects, such as the Bio Bio dams in the 1990s, the Barrancones coal plant in 2010, and the current proposed HidroAysén mega-dam complex in Patagonia, were evaluated under a fundamentally flawed system. This inadequate system does not conform to international standards and it often fails to fully assess the environmental impacts or improve the quality of projects. The Chilean parliament revised the environmental review law in late 2010 to address some of the most problematic issues. But these changes are limited and came too late for the controversial proposed HidroAysén dam project, which is fatally flawed and should not be built. Chile should further reform its environmental review system to bring it in line with international standards and reduce potential risk around future projects. Get document in pdf.
Protecting Nature's Treasures and Sustaining Livelihoods in Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula
Fact Sheet
The Osa Peninsula is Costa Rica’s crown jewel of biodiversity, and truly one of the planet’s greatest natural treasures. Home to lush rainforests, breathtaking coastal landscapes, and rich tropical waters that shelter some of the world’s most spectacular biodiversity, the Osa has grown to be a model for small-scale ecotourism. Yet, the region is now at a critical juncture: increasingly, it faces threats from unsustainable land-use practices and large-scale tourism. The Osa Peninsula needs environmentally sustainable development that allows its local communities to thrive while protecting its unique natural values and sustaining biodiversity. Get document in pdf.
Don't Drill and Drive
Expanding Oil and Gas Drilling to Boost Transportation Funding Doesn't Add Up
Fact Sheet
There appears to be bipartisan support in Congress for reauthorizing surface transportation legislation in the coming year, however a major roadblock remains: Finding a way to pay for the infrastructure improvements that America so badly needs. The current tax on gasoline purchases cannot fully cover the costs of repairing and upgrading -- let alone expanding -- our country's vast network of bridges, roads and mass transit systems. Failing to efficiently move people and products around the country hurts America's economy and costs all of us time, money and patience. Recently, Republican leaders in Congress proposed filling the revenue hole in the Highway Trust Fund by using royalty fees from new oil and gas drilling. Linking the highway bill to expanded domestic energy production is not a sensible way to meet the nation's transportation needs. Get document in pdf.
Cabo Pulmo: Protecting Baja California's Thriving Coral Reef from Massive Tourism Development
Fact Sheet
Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, is home to the only living hard coral reef in the Gulf of California. Teeming with marine life, it is one of the healthiest marine reserves in the world. But Spanish developer Hansa Urbana plans to build a colossal tourism and real estate complex right next door, which would devastate the park's fragile ecosystem. To protect the reef and its marine life, NRDC is partnering with local and international groups in a multi-faceted campaign to stop Hansa Urbana and create a sustainable, long-term development plan for the area. Get document in pdf.
Health and Climate Change: Accounting for Costs
Fact Sheet
Climate change endangers human health, and costs us money in both lost and interrupted lives and increased health care. In a study published in the journal Health Affairs, a team of scientists from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) partnered with university economists to investigate the health costs of six climate change-related events, and found the estimated costs totaled more than $14 billion.
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.
Integrated Building and Tenant Space Case Study
Skanska and The Empire State Building
Fact Sheet
Skanska USA undertook an extensive build-out of their flagship New York City office in 2008 by moving to a new space that focused on energy efficiency and sustainability. This resulted in a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating, the first for Skanska offices in the United States, and the first of any office space in the Empire State Building (ESB).
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.
Saving Energy
Taking Building Efficiency to New Heights
Fact Sheet
Efficiency is everywhere, but it is an invisible resource and often underutilized. Energy efficiency is the fastest, cleanest, and cheapest way to meet energy needs -- India alone could save $42 billion each year by largely improving energy efficiency in buildings, which currently consume more than 30 percent of the country's electricity. With a projected skyrocketing increase in building-occupied area in India, from 8 billion square meters in 2005 to 41 billion by 2030, any building constructed without optimizing efficiency represents a lost opportunity to lock in energy and cost savings for decades. Get document in pdf.
The Facts about Light Bulbs and Mercury
Fact Sheet
Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) use about a quarter of the electricity used by traditional incandescent light bulbs. This reduces energy costs for consumers and eliminates some of the mercury emissions caused by generating electricity. CFLs, however, do contain a small amount of mercury, which has led to questions about their safety. The Natural Defense Resources Council (NRDC) has carefully studied the issue, and has concluded that the use of CFLs actually decreases the amount of mercury released into the environment. As a result, CFLs are the right choice for people concerned about both their health and their energy bills. Get document in pdf.
Science-Based Catch Limits Are Essential To Healthy Fisheries
Fact Sheet
Chronic overfishing has diminished the nation's fisheries for decades, at great economic and ecological costs. In 2006, a bipartisan majority in Congress took action to require fishery managers to set science-based annual catch limits (ACLs) to prevent overfishing, and accountability measures (AMs) to ensure fishermen stay within those limits. After years of efforts, and in time for the 2011 statutory deadline, fishery managers and their scientific advisors are now on the cusp of implementing these measures in every federal fishery in the country. As they approach the finish line, the Fisheries Science Improvement Act (H.R. 2304), has been introduced in Congress to weaken these requirements. Supporters of H.R. 2304 are promoting the legislation with false claims about the inadequacy of fisheries science to implement ACLs. Failure to implement science-based catch limits would derail efforts to stop overfishing and rebuild depleted fish populations to healthy levels. Get document in pdf.
Gasping for Air: Toxic Pollutants Continue to Make Millions Sick and Shorten Lives
Fact Sheet
Forty years of Clean Air Act programs have brought steady and life-saving improvements to our air quality. Despite this important progress, however, many fossil fuel power plants, boilers, and cement plants continue to treat our skies like sewers. From soot to toxic heavy metals, dirty coal and fossil fuel smoke stacks emit vast quantities of dangerous pollutants that are well known to cause disease and death. The total cost of these health impacts is more than $100 billion per year. Until stronger standards to reduce toxic emissions from coal and fossil fuel burning industries are implemented, harmful toxic chemicals will continue to be released into the air of our communities, threatening public health. 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.
Harnessing the Power of Science
India and the United States Collaborate to Create Opportunity for Breakthrough Clean Energy Research
Fact Sheet
In November 2010, Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and U.S. President Barack Obama launched the Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC), a key, bilateral $100 million effort under the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE). NRDC and our partners in India--the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)--share the objective of making this funding opportunity a success. We are disseminating this information widely to help ensure that the highest caliber of talent in both countries is drawn into this grant opportunity. The success of the JCERDC model could lead to bigger collaborations between India and the United States to accelerate clean energy, and catalyze low-carbon solutions to address both our countries' energy security and energy access needs. 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.
Protecting Bristol Bay
Saving America’s Last Wild Places
Fact Sheet
The cool, shallow waters of Alaska's Bristol Bay are surrounded by tundra, crisscrossed by rivers, and dotted with lakes large and small. Bears, wolves, seals, and whales flourish in this nearly untouched ecosystem, all drawn by the same lure: tens of millions of thrashing salmon, charging upstream to spawn. Huge salmon runs are the linchpin of this ecosystem, supporting valuable commercial fisheries, Alaska Natives, and a vast array of wildlife. Tragically, the whole system could be put at risk if giant mining companies are allowed to pursue their narrow interests. NRDC's BioGems program, dedicated to winning permanent protection for endangered wild regions across the Americas, is fighting to preserve this pristine ecosystem. Get document in pdf.
Chile's Clean Energy Future
Biomass, Biogas, Geothermal, Small Hydro, and Wind are Affordable Choices Now and Solar is Not Far Behind
Fact Sheet
Chile can meet its demand in the coming decades through a variety of "non-conventional renewable energy" (NCRE) sources and energy efficiency technologies supplementing its existing generation base. But this will only be possible if Chile strengthens its renewable energy and energy efficiency policies to remove existing barriers and more effectively promote these sectors.
Power Plant Cooling Water and Clean Water Act Section 316(b)
The Need to Modernize U.S. Power Plants and Protect our Water Resources
Fact Sheet
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of issuing standards for the use of cooling water at existing U.S. power plants. A draft rule was issued on March 28, 2011. A final rule will be issued by July 27, 2012. The country is long overdue for a clear, consistent national policy that protects waterways and helps move the nation toward cleaner, more modern and more efficient energy production by phasing out the environmentally destructive once-through cooling systems. Without national standards, the EPA remains in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and states continue to lack the political will, resources, and clout to impose use of better technologies on the power industry.
Get document in pdf.
Sidelining Safety: The FDA Fails to Protect the Public from Toxic Chemicals
Fact Sheet
When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was created more than 100 years ago, it was tasked with assuring the safety of human and animal drugs and our nation's food supply. In recent years, however, the FDA has been plagued by scandals: failing to protect patients from dangerous drugs and major recalls of contaminated spinach and eggs. Sadly, these examples are only the tip of the iceberg of a much bigger problem that jeopardizes the health of nearly every American. Get document in pdf.
Building a Brighter Future
Realizing Chile’s Potential to Become a Leader in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
Fact Sheet
Chile's energy sector is at a turning point. It has enormous potential to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency to become a global leader. The country can take advantage of its remarkable and varied natural resources, as well as its expanding economy to foster growth in its  renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. Or Chile can continue to rely on conventionalenergy sources -- dirty fossil fuels and destructive large hydropower -- to meet the growing electricity requirements of its residents and industries. With the government projecting the national energy demand to double from 2010 to 2020 and triple from 2010 to 2030, the decisions Chile makes now will either unlock its potential for a diversified clean energy portfolio, or lock the country into a risky and polluting future. 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.
The Ecological Importance of Predators
Fact Sheet
Predators have profound effects throughout their ecosystems. Regrettably, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services ignores the positive role that predators play in their surrounding habitat, and has a long history of persecuting predators, considered competitors for game animals and threats to livestock and agriculture. As a result, in many areas,large predators have been eliminated entirely and most of these species now occupy only a fraction of their historical distribution. Get document in pdf.
Why We Need Bees
Nature's Tiny Workers Put Food on Our Tables
Fact Sheet
Many people think of bees simply as a summertime nuisance. But these small and hard-working insects actually make it possible for many of your favorite foods to reach your table. From apples to almonds to the pumpkin in our pumpkin pies, we have bees to thank. Now, a condition known as Colony Collapse Disorder is causing bee populations to plummet, which means these foods are also at risk. Get document in pdf.
Climate and Your Health
Addressing the Most Serious Health Effects of Climate Change
Fact Sheet
Science shows that climate change will affect human health across the world. From diminished air quality and degradation of food and water supplies to increasing levels of allergens and catastrophic weather events, we will experience a number of worsening health threats during our lifetimes. Scientific understanding in this area is expanding rapidly, and urgent action is needed to help us avoid the worst of these effects. Get document in pdf.
The Negative Impacts of Air Pollution on Latino Communities
Fact Sheet
Since 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has protected public health by setting and enforcing standards to protect the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink. Currently, however, some members of Congress are seeking to stop the EPA from protecting public health, by rolling back existing laws like the Clean Air Act and blocking needed clean air protections. Research shows that Latino communities are often hit hardest by the health impacts of dirty air. Get document in pdf.
Working with Partners to Strengthen Environmental Leadership in Costa Rica
Fact Sheet

From protecting pristine natural areas such as the Osa Peninsula to advancing environmentally sustainable transportation and energy efficiency, NRDC is working with partners in Costa Rica to ensure access to world class best practices and international support and advocacy to meet the country’s carbon neutrality and biodiversity conservation goals.

Get document in pdf.
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.
Latin American BioGems
Saving Special Wild Places and Wildlife
Fact Sheet
NRDC’s BioGems Initiative protects endangered wild regions and species throughout the Americas. In Latin America, NRDC has worked to preserve unspoiled ecosystems and threatened wildlife from Mexico’s Baja Peninsula to Chile’s Patagonia, working in partnership with communities and organizations to eliminate threats and to find environmentally sustainable alternatives.
Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Protect Children from a Developmental Toxic: Bisphenol A (BPA)
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as Bisphenol A (BPA). Produced at more than 2 billion pounds per year, BPA has found its way into many consumer products and into many people's bodies. Get document in pdf.
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.
Capturing Energy Savings Opportunities Through Increased Building Efficiency
Fact Sheet
Energy efficiency is the fastest and cheapest way to meet energy needs. Efficiency is an invisible resource -- one that is everywhere -- and yet often overlooked. According to McKinsey & Company, India could save $42 billion each year with enhanced efficiency; and the building sector could be a key source for those savings. Buildings already account for more than 30 percent of India's electricity consumption. Total building space in India will increase from 8 billion square meters in 2005 to 41 billion by 2030. Two-thirds of commercial and high-rise residential structures that will be standing in 2030 have yet to be built. Every building constructed without optimal efficiency represents a lost opportunity to lock in lower energy consumption and increased savings for decades. Get document in pdf.
India Focus: Principles for Effective Environmental Governance
Fact Sheet
India has the second-fastest growing economy in the world. This rapid development could exacerbate the already severe pollution problems the nation faces. There is a growing recognition that India’s existing structures to enforce environmental laws are inadequate to tackle the scale of the pollution problems. As a result, Indian civil society and the Indian environment ministry have put forward proposals to strengthen environmental governance in India, including government proposals to create a new agency focused on compliance and enforcement. To support these important efforts, NRDC’s new report, Effective Environmental Compliance and Governance, draws on our extensive experience in compliance and enforcement of environmental laws in the United States and elsewhere. The report considers the successes and failures of efforts in the United States and sets out key best practices for ensuring environmental compliance. Get document in pdf.
From Crisis to Opportunity
How China is Addressing Climate Change and Positioning Itself to be a Leader in Clean Energy
Fact Sheet
China and the United States are the world’s largest emitters of global warming pollution, and as both nations face an increasing dependence on foreign oil and dirty coal, their joint leadership is crucially needed to address global climate change and move the world to a clean energy economy. To combat global warming, China has committed to reduce its carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, increase the share of non-fossil energy in its primary energy consumption to around 15 percent by 2020, and increase forest coverage.To meet these targets, China is moving to strategically establish itself as a leader in developing and deploying the clean energy solutions of the future: wind and solar power; advanced coal technology; electric vehicles, advanced batteries and high-speed rail; smart grid technology; and more energy efficient industries, buildings, lighting, and appliances.
Get document in pdf.
Re-Envisioning the Chicago River
Adopting Comprehensive Regional Solutions to the Invasive Species Crisis
Fact Sheet
In response to a public health emergency more than 100 years ago, engineers reversed the Chicago River and built the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to carry wastewater away from Lake Michigan, the city’s source of drinking water. The canal also provides a shipping link between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes, opening navigation not only to recreational boats and commercial barges, but also to invasive species, and it diverts massive amounts of water from Lake Michigan. The unfolding Asian carp crisis reveals more than just the challenges faced by local, state, and federal agencies in stopping invasive species from entering the Great Lakes. It also exposes critical infrastructure deficiencies in the region’s wastewater, stormwater, and transportation systems.
Get document in pdf.
Tides of Trouble: Increased Threats to Human Health and Ecosystems from Harmful Algal Blooms
Fact Sheet
The proliferation of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) is a matter of growing global environmental health concern. Climate change may be contributing to the conditions that allow these blooms to flourish.To address this rising tide of trouble, NRDC recommends increased support for research, adoption of improved policies and regulations related to monitoring for and responding to HABs, and several easy steps for protecting personal health and safety while at the beach.

Click here for endnotes. 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.
Congress Must Ensure Important Information about Chemical Use Is Not Hidden from People: Phthalates
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as phthalates, a class of chemicals used in plastics, personal care products, and other everyday products. Whether inhaled, ingested, or absorbed across the skin, some phthalates may disrupt the body’s hormones, causing reproductive health effects. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Protect People from Toxic Chemicals Known to Cause Harm: Tricholoroethylene (TCE)
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as trichloroethylene (TCE), a cancer-causing chemical used in many industries and consumer products -- including rug cleaners and spot removers. TCE exposure can pose serious health risks but exposure during pregnancy is especially worrisome as it has been associated with low birth weight and multiple types of birth defects. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Protect People from Toxic Chemicals Known to Cause Harm: Vinyl Chloride
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as vinyl chloride, used in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that appears in everything from wall and floor coverings to children’s toys to cars. Vinyl chloride, a chemical known to cause cancer, poisons the air breathed by workers and people living in contaminated communities. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Provide the EPA with Authority to Regulate Dangerous Chemicals: Asbestos
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as asbestos, which is still used in some building and automotive materials. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Provide the EPA with Authority to Regulate Unsafe Chemicals: Formaldehyde
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as formaldehyde, which is still in widespread use, particularly in building materials, binders, resins, and composite wood products, used to make everything in a home from carpets to countertops to cabinets to couches. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
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.
Congress Must Expand Protections against Widely Used Harmful Chemicals: Methylene Chloride
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as methylene chloride, used in many industrial and consumer  applications -- including as an extraction solvent for caffeine, spices, and hops, and in products such as wood floor cleaners, water repellents, and spray shoe polish. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Protect People from Toxic Chemicals Known to Cause Harm: Hexavalent Chromium
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as hexavalent chromium (hex chrome), which is used in industries such as metal processing, tanneries, and stainless steel welding where workers are exposed to contaminated air. A legacy pollutant, cancer-causing hex chrome can also contaminate soil and water supplies for decades. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Congress Should Protect Workers -- and Families -- from a Nerve-damaging Toxic: Hexane
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as hexane, used primarily for industrial purposes but also found in common household products -- including stain removers, spray adhesives and craft paints. Hexane is easily inhaled and can cause long-lasting, even permanent, nerve damage. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Act to Remove Toxic Substances from Products Our Families Use Everyday: Flame Retardants TDCP and TCEP
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as the flame retardants TDCP and TCEP, which are found in a wide variety of household products -- including strollers, nursing pillows, and couches and chairs -- and are suspected to cause cancer, and neurological and reproductive harm. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Climate Change, Water, and Risk
Current Water Demands Are Not Sustainable
Fact Sheet
Climate change will have a significant impact on the sustainability of water supplies in the coming decades. An analysis performed by consulting firm Tetra Tech for NRDC examined the effects of global warming on water supply and demand in the contiguous United States. The study found that more than 1,100 counties -- one-third of all counties in the lower 48 -- will face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as the result of global warming.
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.
Oil Spill Do's and Don'ts for the Florida Keys
Protecting Yourself and Your Family from the Health Impacts of the Oil Spill
Fact Sheet
All across the Gulf of Mexico, a catastrophic event is unfolding. Oil from the failed Deepwater Horizon rig is spreading throughout the ocean and washing up against Florida’s valuable shorelines. The Keys are particularly vulnerable because of the islands’ exposure to the sea and the sensitive shoreline and reefs. This fact sheet is designed to give individuals information on what they can do -- and what they should not do -- to help respond to this disaster. Get document in pdf.
What's At Stake
The Ecological and Economic Future of the Florida Keys
Fact Sheet
In the Florida Keys, the natural and human communities are intertwined. The health of living barrier coral reef that exists nowhere else in North America is tied to that of the mangrove trees that fringe the islands and the submerged seagrass beds and patch reefs in between. The Florida wildlife that thrives in this unique environment relies on these habitats to be healthy, just as we, in turn, depend on them to support food, recreation, and valuable jobs. But these resources -- and the livelihoods and way of life they support -- are threatened by the growing Gulf oil disaster. We must protect our valuable marine life to ensure the ecological and economic future of the Florida Keys. Get document in pdf.
Boom, Baby, Boom
The Environmental Impacts of Seismic Surveys
Fact Sheet
For offshore exploration, the oil and gas industry typically relies on arrays of airguns towed behind ships. Although most of the energy from these acoustic “shots” is intended to search downward for evidence of oil and gas deep beneath the seafloor, a significant amount of the energy travels outwards and can be heard throughout vast areas of the ocean. The environmental problems created by these noise invasions are not fully understood, but we do know that these intense sounds threaten the habitats of endangered whales and commercial fisheries. Seismic surveys have been shown to disrupt essential behavior in endangered whales and cause catch rates of some commercial fish to plummet. To mitigate these impacts, NRDC recommends that airguns be kept out of sensitive areas and that greener alternatives be promoted, some of which are already well into development and could be made commercially available within a few years.
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.
Comprehensive Clean Energy and Climate Legislation Will Bring More Jobs, a Stronger Economy, and Less Pollution
Fact Sheet
America’s past experience with establishing regulations to curb pollution provides every reason to believe that enacting comprehensive climate and energy legislation will not only bring environmental and health benefits, but will also unlock technological innovation and boost our economy. Since the nation’s first comprehensive environmental laws in the 1970s, hundreds of dangerous pollutants have been regulated, providing valuable health benefits from reduced exposure to certain toxic chemicals. At the same time, tens of thousands of jobs per year were created in the environmental protection industry, GDP more than tripled, and average household income grew by more than 45 percent. This impressive history of prosperity can be repeated with comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation. Without it, however, the United States will miss out on new employment opportunities and be left behind in the growing world market that rewards green innovation. Get document in pdf.
Not Effective and Not Safe
The FDA Must Regulate Dangerous Antimicrobials in Everyday Products
Fact Sheet
Consumers in the United States spend almost $1 billion per year on “antibacterial” soaps and other products, often motivated by the notion that these products will protect their families from harmful germs and illnesses. But in fact, these products are no more effective than regular soap and water for preventing illness, and they contain chemicals that can actually harm our health and the environment. Up to 75 percent of liquid soaps, as well as bar soaps, toothpaste, cosmetics, cleansing lotions, acne creams, and wipes contain triclosan or triclocarban—chemicals marketed as reducing the number of bacteria or “germs.” The FDA needs to take action now to stop the continued sale of ineffective and potentially unsafe antimicrobial chemicals in household products. Get document in pdf.
Clean by Design: Revolutionizing the Global Textile Industry
Fact Sheet
Addressing the global health threats posed by the textile industry is a daunting challenge, even with more than 30 years of environmental victories under your belt. Yet this challenge spurred NRDC’s team of health experts to pioneer approaches that will help solve global industrial pollution problems associated with apparel, with a focus first in China, where most textiles are made. NRDC and its partner, The Council of Fashion Designers of America, are spearheading a multi-phased initiative called Clean By Design, which aims to revolutionize the way the apparel industry operates, from fiber and dye selection to fabric sourcing decisions to consumer care. This fact sheet explores the key phases of the initiative already completed and those underway in 2010.
Get document in pdf.
How Redbud Company Saved Money, Curbed Pollution, and Gained Favor from a Major Buyer
Fact Sheet
NRDC and its partners in Clean by Design, an initiative to green the global textile supply chain, are recommending 10 practical, easy-to-implement best practices for textile mills that will not only improve manufacturing efficiency, but also save money and stem pollution. The Jiangsu Redbud Textile Company—a Chinese-owned mill that dyes cotton woven fabric supplying Wal-Mart among others—put our best practices to the test. And the results were profound. 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.
Polar Bears on Thin Ice
Fact Sheet
Perfectly at home in one of the world’s most forbidding environments, most polar bears drift along the Arctic on large chunks of floating ice, finding mates and hunting for seals. Without these thick rafts of sea ice, the world’s largest bear will not survive. Yet at this moment, the polar bear’s Arctic abitat is literally melting away beneath it due to global warming. The polar bear is also under pressure from industrial development and toxic chemicals. Over-hunting and commercial trade in polar bear body parts are making these threats worse. The international community must take swift action to protect the polar bear from global warming and commercial trade. The polar bear's Arctic habitat is rapidly disappearing due to global warming. The international community must take action to protect the polar bear from global warming and other man-made threats. Get document in pdf.
Eat Green
Our everyday food choices affect global warming and the environment
Fact Sheet
What we eat matters. The food choices we make every day have a big effect on the environment. The good news is that even small changes in what we buy and eat can add up to real environmental benefits, including fewer toxic chemicals, reduced global warming emissions, and preservation of our ocean resources. Eating “green” can also mean eating fresher, healthier foods while reducing your grocery bill and supporting our farmers. Get document in pdf.
The American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES)
Legislation to build the clean energy future
Index of Fact Sheets
The American Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as the Waxman-Markey bill, has the major ingredients to generate millions of jobs, break our dependence on oil and reduce the pollution that causes global warming. Comprehensive energy and climate legislation will create the incentives necessary to build the clean energy economy and help make America a leader for the 21st century.
Dosed Without Prescription
Preventing Pharmaceutical Contamination of Our Nation's Drinking Water
Fact Sheet
The presence of pharmaceuticals in our waterways and drinking water has gained national attention among lawmakers, regulators, and the public. Prescription drugs can enter water through manufacturing waste, human or animal excretion, runoff from animal feeding operations, leaching from municipal landfills, or improper disposal. With many questions still unanswered regarding the scope of the problem and its consequences for human health and the environment, NRDC conducted an extensive survey of the scientific data, legal analyses, and existing advocacy campaigns around this issue. Based on our findings, we offer several recommendations related to drug design, approval, production, use, and disposal to curb the flow of pharmaceuticals entering our water systems and lessen the impacts of the pollution they cause.
Get document in pdf.
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.
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.
NRDC is Leading the Way Towards Climate Solutions for China
Fact Sheet
China’s rapid development has created urgent environmental and energy challenges—-but it also presents a unique opportunity to help shape a low-carbon, sustainable development pathway for China that would have significant benefits both for China and the world. For nearly 15 years, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been working to strengthen environmental protection and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in China by working with central and local governments, research institutes, environmental groups, and businesses to develop the policies and tools needed to address China’s climate and energy challenges.
Get document in pdf.
Cutting Through the Fog with China’s First Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI)
Fact Sheet
Developing a coordinated international effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions requires, among other things, that countries have confidence in each others’ capacity to monitor and mitigate their GHG emissions. Reliable emissions data in turn relies on the existence of governance systems that make energy and environmental information transparent and publicly available. In May 2008, the Chinese government took a critical step toward furthering environmental transparency by adopting a pair of sweeping  pollution disclosure measures that for the first time required government bodies at all levels to make certain pollution information publicly available. The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) and the Natural Resources Defense Council developed a Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI) to carry out a systematic assessment of the first year of implementation for these regulations.
Get document in pdf.
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.
Rising Tide of Illness: How Global Warming Could Increase the Threat of Waterborne Diseases
Fact Sheet
Although there is little public discussion of the problem, disease outbreaks caused by contaminated water occur regularly. Researchers estimate that, including unreported cases, between 4 and 33 million waterborne gastrointestinal illnesses occur each year in the United States. Global warming is projected to increase the risk of more frequent and more widespread outbreaks of waterborne illnesses, due to higher temperatures and more severe weather events. To help prevent increased occurrence of water-related illnesses, the CDC should improve surveillance of waterborne disease outbreaks, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should improve water quality regulations, and Congress should act to limit emissions of global warming pollutants. We need to act now to protect public health today while preparing for the impacts of climate change.
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.
Boosting Energy Efficiency Nationwide Through Measurement and Performance-Based Rewards
Fact Sheet
Energy efficiency is the most cost effective means for reducing global warming pollution. According to McKinsey and Company, the energy bill savings from efficiency investments could roughly offset the cost of implementing a mandatory carbon cap. And many of these investments already make sense economically: McKinsey estimates that a $50 billion per year investment could result in $1.2 trillion in energy bill savings by 2020 while reducing end-use energy consumption by about 23 percent of projected demand. In addition to saving Americans money on their utility bills, investments in energy efficiency would put downward pressure on electricity, natural gas, and carbon allowance prices (when a carbon cap has been established), while creating 600,000 to 900,000 new jobs. Establishing a reliable measurement for energy efficiency performance and rewarding success in improving performance will help America reach its full energy-saving potential. 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.
Ocean Acidification Fact Sheet
The Other CO2 Problem
Fact Sheet
Ocean acidification is the quiet tsunami of environmental degradation. Within a few decades, ocean acidification may devastate some marine ecosystems and threaten the productivity of our fisheries. When we burn oil, coal, or gas, scientists have recently shown, we are transforming the fundamental chemistry of the oceans, rapidly making the water more acidic. Get document in pdf.
Water Saving Solutions
Stopping Pollution at its Source with Low Impact Development
Fact Sheet
America's urban landscape is affecting our cities' water supply and water quality. Runoff from urban areas is a leading cause of water pollution in the United States, and in many areas people are using water faster than it can be replenished. More than 100 million acres of land have been developed in the United States, and with development and sprawl increasing faster than population growth, the risks to water supply and quality are growing. Low impact development, or LID, is a simple and cost-effective green development strategy that can help cities, states, and even individuals meet the water supply challenge, clean up our existing water resources, and, in many places in the West, curb global warming pollution by reducing the amount of electricity used to supply water. Get document in pdf.
Keep Our Beaches Clean
Prevent the Beachwater Pollution That Makes Swimmers Sick
Fact Sheet
Beach vacations are an annual summer event for many families. But beachgoers at polluted beaches around the country may bring back an unwanted souvenir from their trip: ear infections, stomach flu, skin rashes, and other illnesses that are caused by polluted beachwater. To help keep our beaches clean, NRDC supports improved beachwater testing to detect the pathogens that can cause health problems in swimmers. Bills now pending in Congress would provide funding for much-needed beach cleanup efforts and help ensure that the public is notified promptly when beaches are unsafe for swimming. These bills will help make sure that our beaches are safe for swimming every day.
Get document in pdf.
Scaling Up Investment in Energy Efficiency with a Federal Energy Efficiency Financing Facility (FEEFF)
Fact Sheet
Despite the numerous benefits that stem from increasing energy efficiency and distributing clean power generation technologies in the buildings sector, current levels of investment fall far short of what is achievable and necessary. In today’s economic climate, many worthwhile projects are simply unable to obtain the financing they need and it is unclear whether existing government programs such as loan guarantees will be sufficient to overcome this shortfall. Creating a complementary Federal Energy Efficiency Financing Facility (FEEFF) to support investment in efficiency projects would provide access to much-needed capital and help move our nation toward a clean energy economy. Get document in pdf.
Reducing Pollution Outside of the Carbon Cap: The Role of Offsets and Complementary Policies
Fact Sheet
Reducing overall domestic emissions at least 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and at least 80 percent by 2050 will require emissions reductions not only from large stationary sources of global warming pollution such as power plants, industrial
facilities, and fuel refineries, but also from those sources that are individually too small or dispersed to include under the cap, such as agricultural emissions from the use of nitrogen fertilizers. Similarly, there are means for sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2)—that is, absorbing it out of the atmosphere and storing it safely—in carbon “sinks” such as soils and forests that are difficult to account for under a cap. The United States must adopt alternative mechanisms such as mandatory policies, incentives, and domestic and international offsets to drive emissions reductions and carbon sequestration in these “uncapped sectors” both domestically and abroad. Get document in pdf.
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.
Congress Must Protect Our Communities and Natural Resources from the Worst Impacts of Global Warming
Fact Sheet
We must prepare for--and prevent against--the worst impacts of global warming by acting now to protect our communities and natural systems. Fortunately, Congress is on the brink of considering legislation that can guard our natural resources and our health against global warming pollution. NRDC has developed a set of recommendations that can help policy makers put the best systems in place to protect our communities and natural resources. Get document in pdf.
Protecting Wolves in the American West
Removing Endangered Species Act protections threatens the survival of Northern Rocky Mountain wolves.
Fact Sheet
To many Americans, wolves represent wild nature that has been lost in many parts of the country. These magnificent animals are once again at risk. The Bush Administration's proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections -- to "delist" wolves -- threatens to return Northern Rocky Mountain wolves to the brink of extinction by allowing states to kill more than 60 percent of the current wolf population. NRDC recommends action at both the state and federal levels to maintain the long-term health of wolves in the Northern Rockies. Get document in pdf.
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.
Cap 2.0: Policy Solutions for Curbing Global Warming and Building the Clean Energy Economy
Fact Sheet
The current economic crisis presents enormous challenges for American workers and virtually every sector of our economy. The crisis, however, also provides a tremendous opportunity to address the threat of global warming in a way that ensures long-term environmental and economic sustainability. In the next 20 years, the United States will invest more than $3 trillion in our energy infrastructure -- electric power plants, fuel refineries, and transmission and transportation infrastructure -- and trillions more on reducing the energy consumption of buildings, appliances, and vehicles. If we follow the Cap 2.0 policy recommendations, we can avert the growing climate crisis by reducing emissions of global warming pollution and redirect our resources toward cleaner and energy-efficient technologies that will strengthen our position in the global economy, create millions of quality jobs, and bolster our national security by cutting our reliance on fossil fuels. Get document in pdf.
AB 32 and You
How California’s Global Warming Solutions Act Delivers Smart Solutions to Californians
Fact Sheet
California is leading the country in its effort to curb global warming with the implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). In December 2008, the California Air Resources Board unanimously adopted the state's plan outlining steps to a cleaner and more prosperous future. This visionary plan, the most comprehensive of its kind, will recharge California's economy, improve public health and air quality, help Californians use energy more efficiently, and make the state the hub of clean energy technology development -- all while curbing global warming. 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.
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.
Fueling the Clean Energy Economy
Solving Global Warming Pollution in the Transportation Sector
Fact Sheet
For nearly 100 years, the United States has operated its transportation system with primarily one fuel: oil. As a result, the transportation sector is now the second largest source of U.S. global warming pollution, contributing 28 percent of all emissions. To solve global warming cost-effectively, we need a trio of policies to drive solutions in each of these areas: 1) an upstream cap on fuel emissions; 2) performance standards for clean, effi cient vehicles, clean fuels, and low-carbon transportation planning that we strengthen periodically; and 3) incentives to overcome market barriers to widespread adoption of low-carbon technologies, practices, and designs. Get document in pdf.
Five Simple Steps for Saving Money, Energy, and the Environment: Guides for Building Owners, Managers and Tenants
Index of Fact Sheets
NRDC and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) jointly produced this pair of fact sheets to provide building owners and managers and their tenants with tips for improving energy efficiency. Working together, NRDC and REBNY are delivering practical recommendations for saving energy—in individual apartments and throughout entire buildings—to a wide and influential audience.
Safeguarding our Oceans in a Warming World
Addressing Global Warming and Ocean Acidification
Fact Sheet
From rising sea levels and higher temperatures to more extreme weather events and ocean acidification, global warming pollution presents a serious threat to our already-stressed ocean systems. Treasured oceans and beaches, food staples, recreation, and employment are all at risk in the coming decades. To avoid the worst impacts, federal and state governments must protect our oceans by reducing global warming emissions and enacting policies that will boost the ability of natural systems to weather the ongoing and expected changes brought on by global warming and ocean acidification. Climate and energy legislation expected to be passed by Congress presents an opportunity to take a major step toward that goal. 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.
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.
Powering Up Renewable Electricity
NRDC's Roadmap for Immediate and Cost-Effective Renewables Deployment
Fact Sheet
Renewable electricity is the energy of the future — it can reduce global warming emissions, moderate the long-term cost of power and help ensure our energy independence and national security by phasing out fossil fuels. To realize these benefits, we must cap carbon emissions which will put a price on global warming pollution while simultaneously helping to launch emerging renewables into the marketplace. Get document in pdf.
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.
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.
Investing in Our Recovery
Repowering America with a 'Cap and Invest' Climate Plan
Fact Sheet
We must focus our efforts on an economic recovery plan that provides needed short-term stimulus and lays the groundwork for a stable, long-term recovery. Enacting a cap and trade system to limit global warming pollution is an essential component of a comprehensive plan to repower America. Passing legislation to cap global warming pollution can spur investment, create millions of jobs, and help pull our lagging economy forward by providing the opportunity to borrow against the value of future pollution allowances and creating the market signals needed to trigger a surge of clean energy investments. 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.
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.
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.
Temperatures Rising
Global Warming Turns up the Heat on Human Health
Fact Sheet
Heat waves are becoming more frequent and more severe as a result of global warming. Higher temperatures will have serious effects on human health. Get document in pdf.
Job Opportunities in a Green Economy
States can gain from fighting global warming
Fact Sheet
Curbing global warming is the work of a generation; specifically, the work of millions of people, performing the jobs needed to build the green economy. Clean energy investments will create opportunities for welders, sheet metal workers, machinists, truck drivers, and others -- and the benefits of those new jobs would spread to a much wider swatch of the economy. The following fact sheets outline potential green job opportunities in a select number of states.
More Effective and Economical Pest Control
Integrated Pest Management
Fact Sheet
Integrated pest management (IPM) is a proven, cost-effective strategy to combat pest problems without unnecessary pesticides. By correcting conditions that lead to pest problems and using least-toxic pesticides only when necessary, IPM provides more effective pest control, often without increasing costs. Get document in pdf.
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.
Chemicals in Plastic Bottles
How to Know What’s Safe for Your Family
Fact Sheet
A guide to what plastics are safe for your family, and what the government needs to do to ensure strong protections. Get document in pdf.
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.
Preparing for Global Warming
A Framework for Protecting Community Health and the Environment in a Warmer World
Fact Sheet
We must start now to protect against and prepare for the effects of global warming on our world. 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.
Florida Needs a Healthy Oceans Act
We can revive the world's oceans, starting with a Healthy Oceans Act.
Fact Sheet
We depend on the ocean for food, recreation, and jobs, but now pollution, overexploitation, and habitat degradation are pushing the world’s oceans into a silent state of collapse. In Florida, ocean deterioration has led to beach closings, dying reefs, fewer fish for commercial and recreational fishing, and dangerous chemicals in some of the state’s seafood. Fortunately, solutions are available that can help revive the world’s oceans, starting with passing a national Healthy Oceans Act. Get document in pdf.
Stop the Slaughter
Yellowstone’s Buffalo Herd Must Be Protected
Fact Sheet
The Montana Department of Livestock and the National Park Service are killing the thousands of buffalo that roam in Yellowstone National Park, claiming with little evidence that the buffalo could transmit disease to cattle in the area. NRDC is fighting to protect Yellowstone buffalo from senseless killing and to safeguard the park’s wildlife resources for future generations. Get document in pdf.
There Is No Such Thing as "Clean Coal"
Coal Mining Can Have Disastrous Impacts on Human Health and the Environment
Fact Sheet
Coal mining has serious impacts on our health and the environment. Clean energy options such as energy efficiency can meet energy demands without the dangerous effects of coal. Get document in pdf.
Dangerous Disposals
Keeping Coal Combustion Waste Out of Our Water Supply
Fact Sheet
Coal combustion waste released as pollution by power plants can make drinking water in nearby communities unsafe. Stronger protections are needed to regulate this waste, and to ensure that more polluting power plants are not needed. Get document in pdf.
Global Warming Heats Up the Insurance Industry
Fact Sheet
A changing climate means instability for the insurance industry. Get document in pdf.
What’s Coming Out of the Tap?
How to Ensure That Your Family’s Drinking Water Is Safe
Fact Sheet
Despite the many sources of pollution that can affect drinking water, with a little research, proper testing, and treatment (if necessary) you can help to ensure that the water you and your family drink is safe. NRDC is joining with local communities to keep drinking water clean and to curb pollution long before it reaches your tap. Get document in pdf.
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.
California Takes on Power Plant Emissions
SB 1368 Sets Groundbreaking Greenhouse Gas Performance Standard
Fact Sheet
California is ensuring a clean energy future by adopting the world's first greenhouse gas emissions performance standard for power plant investments. Senate Bill SB 368 requires that any new long-term financial investment in "baseload" generation resources -- those workhorse power plants that supply electricity around the clock -- made on behalf of California customers must be in clean energy sources. Get document in pdf.
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.
Costa Rica: Setting the Pace for Reducing Global Warming Pollution and Phasing Out Oil
Fact Sheet
Already a world leader in renewable energy use and tropical forest conservation, Costa Rica has declared the goal of becoming the world’s first carbon neutral country. To achieve this goal, Costa Rica must reduce its dependence on oil and increase investment in domestic renewable energy production and demand reduction strategies. Get document in pdf.
Saving Jamaica Bay
Fact Sheet
New York City's Jamaica Bay is plagued by an array of harms ranging from overdevelopment on its borders to water pollution to invasive plant and animal species. A unified effort on the part of government and residents is needed to restore this natural gem and to save one of the city's last wild places. Get document in pdf.
The Beaufort and Chukchi Seas
Protecting America’s Arctic
Fact Sheet
Aggressive government interest in leasing areas to the oil and gas industries in the zone referred to as the “Arctic Ring of Life”—home to millions of migratory birds, polar bears, beluga whales, endangered bowhead whales, and thousands-year-old Inupiat (Eskimo) culture—threatens the sustainability of this ecosystem and the livelihood of Alaska Native communities. Get document in pdf.
Porpoise in Peril
Help protect the most endangered small marine mammal in the world
Fact Sheet
NRDC is working to prevent the extinction of the vaquita marina (Phocoena sinus), the world’s smallest porpoise and now its most endangered small marine mammal. The main threat to vaquitas is the accidental entanglement in nets set for fish and shrimp that is exported from Mexico to U.S. consumers. Immediate action must be taken to protect this critically endangered porpoise. Get document in pdf.
Global Warming’s Effects on Florida’s Oceans and Coasts Demand Immediate Action
Fact Sheet
NRDC and our partners are fighting to revive and protect Florida's thriving coastal and ocean economy by promoting measures that will reduce global warming pollution and protect coastal habitats and restore robust fisheries. Get document in pdf.
Keeping Our Waters Clean in the Monterey Bay Region
How Smaller Communities Can Prevent Toxic Runoff
Fact Sheet
Stormwater runoff is a leading source of coastal pollution in California, damaging the environment and threatening public health. NRDC developed a three-part strategy of prevention, monitoring and enforcement that can help smaller and midsized cities deal with this toxic stormwater runoff before it pollutes local waterways and puts public health at risk. This effective and straightforward plan has already been adopted, and once fully implemented, will successfully manage runoff in coastal communities along the Monterey Peninsula in California.
If You Build It, They Will Come
Americans Want Smart Growth Alternatives to Conventional Transportation
Fact Sheet
Smart growth land-use strategies, also known as location-efficient development or “new urbanism,” can save Americans saving thousands of dollars a year in transportation costs, improve quality of life, and provide significant benefits for the environment. Get document in pdf.
Why Coal Liquids Are Not A Viable Option To Move America Beyond Oil
Fact Sheet
Liquid coal is a polluting process that releases large quantities of global warming pollution into our air. America should instead pursue clean energy options such as efficiency, smart growth, and renewable fuels. Get document in pdf.
Morro Bay-Cayucos Sewage Treatment Plant and Sea Otter Habitat
Fact Sheet
The Morro Bay/Cayucos sewage plant in California has dumped pollutants into the ocean for more than two decades -- directly into bay waters that are a hotspot for deaths among the threatened California sea otter.  Officials at the Morro Bay sewage plant do not intend to complete an upgrade to meet basic federal standards until March 2014, even as the plant's own documents show that a faster, more efficient, less expensive upgrade is possible.
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.
New York State's Strained Ocean Resources
Commercially and culturally vital, New York's shorelines, beaches and fisheries are in trouble.
Fact Sheet
Healthy, diverse ocean ecosystems are an important part of New York's coastal heritage and economic well-being. Yet these ocean systems are severely strained from pollution, destruction of productive marine habitat, and overfishing.
Avoiding Chlorine in the Paper Bleaching Process
Fact Sheet
Recommendations for safer ways to brighten and whiten paper.
Getting Mercury Out of Paper Production
Fact Sheet
The paper industry has an important role to play in reducing toxic mercury pollution.
If You Don’t Buy African Ivory, Why Would You Buy Amazon Mahogany?
Fact Sheet
High consumer demand for mahogany has boosted prices and the illegal trade of these majestic trees from Peru to the United States, bringing disastrous impacts for indigenous peoples who rely on the forests, endangered species losing their habitat, and the long-term viability of commercial mahogany. Get document in pdf.
Strip Mining for Oil in Endangered Forests
Fact Sheet
Big oil interests are scraping away hundreds of thousands of acres in North America’s Boreal forest to produce tar sands oil, and in the process consuming large amounts of natural gas and generating three times as much global warming pollution as conventional crude oil production. Greater efficiency and renewable fuels are far better, cleaner ways to meet our energy needs. Get document in pdf.
"Emissions Intensity" -- Pollution by Any Other Name?
Why emissions keep growing under the Bush administration plan.
Fact Sheet
The Bush administration's voluntary approach to global warming focuses on reducing emissions intensity -- the ratio of carbon dioxide to a measure of economic output. But under the administration's plan, even as emissions intensity improves, total emissions will keep on rising. To combat global warming effectively, the government must focus its policy on reducing the total amount of heat-trapping pollution in the atmosphere.
Voluntary Efforts Won't Work
Why we need mandatory limits on carbon dioxide.
Fact Sheet
The federal government has for years tried to curb global warming pollution by asking corporate polluters to voluntarily cut emissions. The evidence is in -- voluntary emissions cuts are not sufficient. Too few companies take part in these initiatives; even power companies -- the leading participants -- mostly consent only to business-as-usual actions that make no real impact on rising emissions trends. Only binding limits on global warming pollution will create the market structure needed to push competitive businesses beyond the cosmetic and into taking meaningful steps to reduce global warming pollution.
The ABC News Nuclear Smuggling Experiment
The Sequel
Fact Sheet
This briefing paper provides information about NRDC's role in an ABC News investigative report on U.S. Customs' inability to detect smuggled nuclear weapons material. NRDC loaned ABC News the depleted uranium it used in its report. The briefing paper covers the properties of uranium, radioactive shielding, and how closely ABC's "experiment" reflects the potential for terrorists to smuggle weapon-grade uranium into the country.

Track Current Legislation

Recent Legislative Fact Sheets

The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act is a Step to Building our Clean Energy Future
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...
It's Time to Build an Economy that is Stronger, Cleaner, Healthier, and Made to Last
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...
State Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rules and Enforcement: A Comparison
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...

More

NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs

Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.


Donate now >

Sign up for NRDC's online newsletter

See the latest issue >

Share | |
Find NRDC on
YouTube