Since 2007, federally declared weather-related disasters in the United States have affected counties housing 243 million people – or nearly four out of five Americans. The breadth and severity of weather-related disasters in the United States – coupled with the emerging science on the potential for global warming to exacerbate some types of extreme weather – suggest that the United States should take urgent action to reduce emissions of global warming pollution, while taking steps to prepare for the dangers posed by climate change.
Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—to unlock new supplies of fossil fuels in underground rock formations across the United States. “Fracking” has spread rapidly, leaving a trail of contaminated water, polluted air, and marred landscapes in its wake. In fact, a growing body of data indicates that fracking is an environmental and public health disaster in the making.
However, the true toll of fracking does not end there. Fracking’s negative impacts on our environment and health come with heavy “dollars and cents” costs as well. In this report, we document those costs—ranging from cleaning up contaminated water to repairing ruined roads and beyond. Many of these costs are likely to be borne by the public, rather than the oil and gas industry. As with the damage done by previous extractive booms, the public may experience these costs for decades to come.
As America struggles to revitalize our economy, create jobs, secure an
energy independent future, and protect our communities and wildlife
from the dangers of climate change, one energy source offers a golden
opportunity to power our homes and businesses without creating more
pollution —– Atlantic offshore wind.
Global warming is happening now and its effects are being felt in the United States and around the world. Among the expected consequences of global warming is an increase in the heaviest rain and snow storms, fueled by increased evaporation and the ability of a warmer atmosphere to hold more moisture.
Massachusetts has leapt to the forefront of the rising solar energy economy. Since 2007, solar energy in Massachusetts has grown 30-fold—from less than 4 megawatts of solar panels to more than 110. This is great news for our planet, our health, and our economy. Our report, Massachusetts' Solar Leaders, highlights the communities across Massachusetts, from Springfield to Plymouth to Cambridge, that are leading the way in this solar power revolution.