California should build on the recent growth in solar energy by setting a goal of obtaining at least 30 percent of its electricity from solar power by 2030. Achieving that goal would result in a cleaner environment, less dependence on fossil fuels, and a stronger economy.
American wind power already produced enough energy in 2013 to power 15 million homes. Continued, rapid development of wind energy would allow the renewable resource to supply 30 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2030, providing more than enough carbon reductions to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan.
In the early 1970s, many American rivers and streams were environmental basket cases – lined with industrial facilities dumping toxic pollution virtually unchecked, choked with untreated sewage and trash, and, in many cases, devoid of aquatic life.
In 2014, 42 years after the passage of the Clean Water Act, many of these formerly degraded waterways are returning to health. From Puget Sound to Boston Harbor and from Monterey Bay to the Chattahoochee River, the Clean Water Act has played an essential role in restoring America’s rivers, lakes and coastal waters as sources of recreation, engines of economic development, and critical habitat for wildlife.
As international leaders prepare for the United Nations Climate Summit next week in New York, a new study shows America’s power plants dump as much carbon pollution into the air any other country’s entire economy except China. Environment California pointed to the report as evidence for why the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for the nation’s first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants is a critical step in the international fight against global warming.
The Top 10 states with the most solar electricity installed per capita account for only 26 percent of the U.S. population but 87 percent of the nation’s total installed solar electricity capacity. These 10 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico and North Carolina – possess strong policies that are enabling increasing numbers of homeowners, businesses, communities and utilities to “go solar.”
Environment California Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.