Wetlands are more than just scenic parts of America’s natural landscape. They are also home to wildlife and perform many vital functions that protect the health of our waterways and communities. By trapping sediment and filtering excess nutrients and pollutants out of the water that flows through them, wetlands support water quality.
Our coasts are home to stunning wildlife and incredible beaches, from the Georgia Barrier Islands to the Outer Banks to the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately offshore drilling is putting our natural heritage and marine life at risk. On ‘good’ days, drilling kills and injures wildlife and threatens human health and the economy. When they happen (which is all too frequently) major disasters such as the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon blowout are catastrophic.
Georgia could meet its energy needs by capturing just a sliver of the virtually limitless and pollution-free energy that strikes the state every day in the form of sunlight. With solar installation costs falling, the efficiency of solar cells rising, and the threats of air pollution and global warming ever-looming, solar power is becoming a more attractive and widespread source of energy every day.
If America were to take advantage of just a frac- tion of its wind energy potential to get 30 percent of its electricity from the wind by 2030, the nation could cut carbon emissions from power plants to 40 percent below 2005 levels. That much wind power would help states meet and exceed the carbon dioxide emission reductions called for
by the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft Clean Power Plan, and help the nation meet its commitment to cut U.S. carbon pollution by 26 to 28 percent by 2025.
Environment Georgia 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.