Weather disasters kill or injure hundreds of Americans each year and cause billions of dollars in economic damage. The risks posed by some types of weather-related disasters will likely increase in a warming world. Scientists have already detected increases in extreme precipitation events and heat waves in the United States, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently concluded that global warming will likely lead to further changes in weather extremes.
Leakage of radioactive material into groundwater is a common occurrence at U.S. nuclear power plants. Because of the inherent risks of nuclear power, the United States should ensure that all currently operating nuclear power plants are, at the latest, retired at the end of their operating licenses and the nation should move toward cleaner, safer solutions such as energy efficiency and renewable energy for our future energy needs.
America’s dependence on oil threatens our environment, our economy, and our national security. Whether it is the scars left by the oil spills in the Yellowstone and Kalamazoo rivers and the Gulf of Mexico, the $1 billion that American families and businesses send overseas every day for oil, or the nearly 2 billion metric tons of global warming pollution emitted annually which fuels more and more extreme weather, these problems demand that we break our dependence on oil.
XCEL Energy’s Sherburne County power plant (Sherco) in Becker emits the most mercury pollution of any power plant in Minnesota and the 40th most in the country, according to brand new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data outlined in Environment Minnesota’s latest report, Minnesota’s Biggest Mercury Polluters. The report found that in total, power plants in Minnesota emitted 876 pounds of mercury pollution in 2010. Environment Minnesota’s report comes as EPA is set to finalize a standard to limit mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants this month.
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