The Trump administration has proposed opening much of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans off the U.S. coast to offshore oil and gas drilling. The environmental dangers posed by offshore oil spills, such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, are well known. The damage to the environment, communities and public health from the onshore infrastructure needed to support offshore drilling is less well known, but no less real.
An analysis of bacteria sampling data from beaches in 29 coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico reveals that 2,580 beach sites – more than half of all sites tested – were potentially unsafe for swimming on at least one day in 2018, and 546 sites were potentially unsafe at least 25 percent of the days that sampling took place.
Across Massachusetts, cities and towns are leading the way to 100% renewable energy with innovative policies and programs to increase renewable electricity, energy efficiency, clean heating and transportation, and energy storage.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), created more than a decade ago by Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, has been a clear success. The program has contributed to the 60 percent reduction in carbon pollution from power plants in those states since 2005, while fueling the transition to a clean energy future.
New governors are getting ready to take office in 20 states, from Florida to Alaska. As America’s newly elected governors prepare to take on their states’ biggest challenges, they should prioritize taking bold action on the greatest challenge of our time: climate change.
Environment Massachusetts 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 getting things done.