For more than a decade, Massachusetts has been at the forefront of national efforts to shift to clean, efficient, renewable energy and to reduce pollution that contributes to global warming.
By adopting strong policies, including a cap on the state’s global warming emissions, clean car standards, renewable energy standards, strong energy efficiency programs, and tough emission standards for power plants, our state has shown that taking action to reduce global warming pollution can work.
Our report, Building a Better America: Saving Energy and Money with Efficiency, analyzes the benefits Massachusetts would see if we committed to dramatically improving the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings. The report uses government data to estimate reduced energy consumption, decreased fossil fuel use, money saved on energy bills, and global warming pollution prevented in 2020 and 2030.
After a year that saw many parts of the country hit by scorching heat, devastating wildfires, severe storms and record flooding, a new Environment Massachusetts report documents how global warming could lead to certain extreme weather events becoming even more common or more severe in the future.
In the United States, 49 million Americans receive their drinking water from surface sources located within 50 miles of an active nuclear power plant – inside the boundary the Nuclear Regulatory Commission uses to assess risk to food and water supplies.
Coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of mercury pollution in the United States. Emissions from these plants eventually make their way into Massachusetts’ waterways, contaminating fish and wildlife. Many of Massachusetts’ waterways are under advisory because of mercury contamination. Eating contaminated fish is the main source of human exposure to mercury. Mercury pollution poses enormous public health threats. Mercury exposure during critical periods of brain development can contribute to irreversible deficits in verbal skills, damage to attention and motor control, and reduced IQ. In 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed and proposed the first national standards limiting mercury and other toxic air pollution from existing coaland oil-fired power plants. Implementing these standards will reduce mercury in our waterways and fish, and protect public health.
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.