Burning fossil fuels to generate electricity pollutes our air, contributes to global warming, and consumes vast amounts of water—harming our rivers and lakes and leaving less water for other uses. In contrast, wind energy produces no air pollution, makes no contribution to global warming, and uses no water.
America’s wind power capacity has quadrupled in the last five years and wind energy now generates as much electricity as is used every year in Georgia. Thanks to wind energy, America uses less water for power plants and produces less climate-altering carbon pollution.
This report seeks to quantify some of the key impacts of fracking to date—including the production of toxic wastewater, water use, chemicals use, air pollution, land damage and global warming emissions.
California’s clean energy progress is due to forward-looking policies that are helping the state reduce its contribution to global warming, expand its use of local renewable energy sources, increase the reliability of electricity service, and control energy costs. In particular, net energy metering has been instrumental in the growth of California’s rooftop solar market. Net energy metering enables solar panel owners to earn fair compensation for benefits that they provide to other users of the electricity grid. Net energy metering is especially important for the residential solar market – and thus a key part of developing a more localized, reliable and efficient electricity system.
America’s solar energy revolution has been led by 12 states – the “Dazzling Dozen” – that have used public policies to open the door for solar energy and are reaping the rewards as a result. These 12 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina and Vermont – possess strong policies that are enabling increasing numbers of homeowners, businesses, communities and utilities to “go solar.”
More than any other city in the country, Los Angeles could benefit from a robust market for rooftop solar power on homes, office buildings, schools, warehouses, parking lots, and more. Solar power can benefit our environment, our health and our economy—providing cleaner air, reducing global warming, conserving water and creating jobs. To capture these benefits, Los Angeles’s leaders should adopt a visionary goal of installing 1,200 megawatts of local solar power generation capacity by 2020.