Raleigh and Charlotte are among dozens of communities leading the nation’s surge in solar power according to a new report, “Shining Cities: At the Forefront of America’s Solar Energy Revolution,” a first-of-its-kind comparative look at the growth of solar power in major American cities.
American leadership in the fight against global warming is crucial. America is the world’s largest economy, the second-largest emitter of global warming pollution, and the nation responsible for more of the human-caused carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere than any other. Without prompt action by the United States and others to reduce global warming pollution, catastrophic impacts – from coastal flooding to food system disruptions – could become unavoidable.
Fortunately, even in the absence of a comprehensive response from the U.S. Congress, local and state governments and the Obama administration have taken leadership on global warming.
With more than 250 sunny days per year, North Carolina has the potential to replace much of its electricity from dirty fossil fuels with clean solar power. North Carolina has been a national solar leader, ranking fifth in the country for cumulative installed solar energy capacity as of September 2013. However, one of the biggest, largely untapped potential markets for solar power is large commercial buildings, such as “big box” retail stores, supercenters and shopping malls. Tapping into this solar resource to boost North Carolina’s solar capacity can have substantial benefits for the state’s environment, public health and economy.
Across the country, fracking is contaminating drinking water, making nearby families sick with air pollution, and turning forest acres into industrial zones. We believe it is vital for the public to hear directly from people living on the frontlines of fracking, and so Environment America Research & Policy Center is supporting the Shalefield Stories project—a booklet designed and published by local activists where people impacted by fracking tell their stories, in their own words.
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.
Environment North Carolina 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.