Our new report shows that Virginia ranks 39th in the nation for solar capacity per capita. A growing number of states are leading America’s ongoing solar boom. Those states are not necessarily the ones with the most sunshine, but rather the ones that have opened the door for solar energy through the adoption of strong public policies. The 10 states with the most solar capacity per capita – Nevada, Hawaii, California, Arizona, North Carolina, New Jersey, Vermont, New Mexico, Massachusetts and Colorado – have a track record of strong public policies that are enabling increasing numbers of homeowners, businesses, communities and utilities to “go solar.”
Pollution from agribusiness is responsible for some of America’s most intractable water quality problems – including the “dead zone” in the Chesapeake Bay. Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest meat and poultry producers, dumps more toxic pollution into American waters than any other agribusiness, and produces the most animal manure of major companies surveyed nationwide, a new report released today said.
America has made progress in cutting pollution from cars and trucks over the last decade as a result of improved vehicle fuel economy and slower growth in driving. But eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from our urban transportation systems is going to require more than incremental change – it will require transformation.
Wind power continues to grow as a source of clean energy across America. The United States generated 26 times more electricity from wind power in 2014 than it did in 2001. American wind power has already significantly reduced global warming pollution. In 2014 alone, wind-generated electricity averted an estimated 143 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions – as much as would be produced by 37 typical coal-fired power plants. With America’s massive potential for wind energy on land and off our coasts, wind power can play a key role in meeting the emission reduction targets of the recently adopted Clean Power Plan and moving the nation toward a future of 100 percent renewable electricity.
Environment Virginia 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.