The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
The U.S. should remain dedicated to wind power installations if it wants to realize a massive reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, a new report suggests.
The Environment America Research & Policy Center released its second Wind Energy for a Cleaner America report today as both a testament to the industry's growth and a plea for Congress to extend the investment and production tax credits.
The organization says the U.S. would avoid the carbon dioxide equivalent of the 32 million passenger vehicles each year by 2018 if it continues to invest in offshore wind development and keeps up the pace of onshore capacity installations from 2007 to 2012. Installations have slowed at points during the last year and a half but wind generation has picked up briskly each year of the past decade-plus.
"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," the report's executive summary reads. "Thanks to wind energy, America uses less water for power plants and produces less climate-altering carbon pollution."
Wind generation grew from about 34,500 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2007 to more than 140,000 GWh by the end of 2012. Last year, wind energy displaced nearly 850 million metric tons of carbon emissions, which is more than amount produced annually in Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina or Washington State. Still, Environment America sees room for growth.
States like Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas have enough wind turbines for 20 percent of their electricity needs, which Environment America attributes to renewable energy policies and federal incentives. California is producing 9.9 million megawatt hours and is on pace for an 8 percent increase in wind production by 2018.
Environment America is concerned about fossil fuel companies and their political allies garnering enough support to prevent the extension of federal tax credits. Entities like Koch Brothers, American Energy Alliance and the American Legislative Exchange Council have all openly opposed incentivizing wind energy.
“Wind energy is improving our quality of life in America,” Julian Boggs, global warming program director for Environment America, said. “We cannot let polluters and their allies stand in the way of additional reductions in carbon, soot and smog pollution and water use. Congress needs to do whatever it takes to extend federal wind incentives as soon as possible.”
Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on these topics.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Julia Conley
A council representing more than 800,000 doctors across the U.S. signed a letter Friday imploring President Donald Trump to reverse his call for businesses to reopen by April 12, warning that the president's flouting of the guidance of public health experts could jeopardize the health of millions of Americans and throw hospitals into even more chaos as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.
By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.
By Jeff Turrentine
From day to day, our public health infrastructure — the people and systems we've put in place to keep populations, as opposed to individuals, healthy — largely goes unnoticed. That's because when it's working well, its success takes the form of utter normalcy.
Cell Phone Tracking Analysis Shows Where Florida Springbreakers and New Yorkers Fleeing Coronavirus Went to Next
By Eoin Higgins
A viral video showing cell phone data collected by location accuracy company X-Mode from spring break partiers potentially spreading the coronavirus around the U.S. has brought up questions of digital privacy even as it shows convincingly the importance of staying home to defeat the disease.