Solar power is on the rise across the country. The United States has more than 200 times as much solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed today as it did in 2002. With solar module prices coming down, increasing national awareness of solar energy, and a growing legion of solar businesses large and small, solar power is emerging as a mainstream energy solution with widespread benefits for our health, our economy and the environment.
A new report released today by Environment Minnesota revealed that Minnesota’s wind energy is already avoiding more than 4.5 million metric tons of climate-altering carbon pollution – the equivalent of taking almost 950,000 cars off the road, while saving over 2 billion gallons of water per year – enough to meet the needs of over 80,000 people.
Today on Halloween, Environment Minnesota unveiled a new factsheet that compiles the most frightening realities on toxic pollutants, alien invaders, green slime from algae, lakes being buried alive, mutating fish, and ghoulish bacteria that haunt Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and drinking water.
Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—in a highly polluting effort to unlock oil and gas in underground rock formations across the United States.
As fracking expands rapidly across the country, there are a growing number of documented cases of drinking water contamination and illness among nearby residents. Yet it has often been difficult for the public to grasp the scale and scope of these and other fracking threats. Fracking is already underway in 17 states, with more than 80,000 wells drilled or permitted since 2005.
A new report from the Environment Minnesota Research & Policy Center finds that Xcel Energy’s Sherburne County or “Sherco” Power Plant is the state’s biggest carbon polluter, producing as much global warming pollution as 2.7 million cars each year. Sherco is the 21st most carbon-polluting power plant in the country, according to the report. Scientists predict that extreme weather events will become more frequent and severe for future generations, unless we cut the dangerous carbon pollution fueling the problem.
Environment Minnesota 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 social change.