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  • America's Dirtiest Power Plants | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    plants For example about 30 percent of all power sector carbon dioxide emissions in 2011 came from the 50 dirtiest power plants about half came from the 100 dirtiest plants and about 90 percent came from the 500 dirtiest plants See Figure ES 1 The dirtiest power plant in the United States Georgia Power s Plant Scherer produced more than 21 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2011 more than the total energy related emissions of Maine Figure ES 1 The 50 Dirtiest Power Plants Contribute Significantly to U S Carbon Dioxide Pollution Million Metric Tons MMT 2011 Dirty power plants produce a disproportionate share of the nation s global warming pollution especially given the relatively small share of total electricity they produce For example despite producing 30 percent of all power sector carbon dioxide emissions the 50 dirtiest power plants only produced 16 percent of the nation s electricity in 2011 The dirtiest U S power plants are major sources of global warming pollution on a global scale If the 50 most polluting U S power plants were an independent nation they would be the seventh largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world behind Germany and ahead of South Korea See Figure ES 2 These power plants emitted carbon dioxide pollution equivalent to more than half the emissions of all passenger vehicles in the United States in 2010 The 100 most polluting U S power plants produced more than 3 percent of the world s carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in 2011 while the 500 most polluting power plants were responsible for about 6 percent Figure ES 2 Carbon Dioxide Pollution Emitted by the 50 Dirtiest Power Plants Compared to Other Countries MMT CO2 To protect our health our safety and our environment from the dangers of global warming America must clean up polluting power plants The Obama Administration should set strong limits on carbon dioxide pollution from new power plants to prevent the construction of a new generation of dirty power plants and force existing power plants to clean up by setting strong limits on carbon dioxide emissions from all existing power plants New plants The Environmental Protection Agency EPA should work to meet its September 2013 deadline for re proposing a stringent emissions standard for new power plants It should also set a deadline for finalizing these standards no later than June 2015 Existing plants The EPA should work to meet the timeline put forth by President Obama for proposing and finalizing emissions standards for existing power plants This timeline calls for limits on existing plants to be proposed by June 2014 and finalized by June 2015 The standards should be based on the most recent climate science and designed to achieve the emissions reduction targets that are necessary to avoid the worst impacts of global warming In addition to cutting pollution from power plants the United States should adopt a suite of clean energy policies at the local state and federal levels to

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/reports/njc/americas-dirtiest-power-plants (2016-05-01)
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  • In the Path of the Storm | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    records The contiguous United States experienced its hottest month and hottest year in recorded history in 2012 The United States smashed the previous record for warmest year exceeding the previous record year 1998 by 1 F The United States experienced its warmest spring second warmest summer and fourth warmest winter in 2012 The nation also posted its warmest single month on record in July 2012 Nebraska and Wyoming experienced their driest years on record while other Plains and Midwestern states experienced drier than normal conditions The U S experienced its most widespread drought in more than a half century as a result of record heat and low rainfall In July 2012 64 percent of the nation experienced moderate to exceptional drought according to the National Climatic Data Center making it the most widespread drought since at least 1956 Hurricane Sandy broke or challenged multiple records It was the largest tropical cyclone in terms of area since modern record keeping began in 1988 was responsible for the lowest barometric pressure ever recorded along the Northeast U S coast and produced record storm tides in the New York City area Some types of extreme weather events have become more common or intense in recent years and may continue to become more frequent or severe in a warming world Extreme downpours The United States has experienced an increase in heavy precipitation events with the rainiest 1 percent of all storms delivering 20 percent more rain on average at the end of the 20th century than at the beginning The trend toward extreme precipitation is projected to continue even though higher temperatures and drier summers will likely also increase the risk of drought in certain parts of the country Heat waves The United States has experienced an increase in the number of heat waves over the last half century Scientists project that heat waves and unusually hot seasons will likely become more common in a warming world Hurricane intensity and rainfall Hurricanes may become more intense and bring greater amounts of rainfall in a warming world even though the number of hurricanes may remain the same or decrease Global warming may also make weather events more dangerous Rising sea level ecosystem changes and changes in the form of precipitation could reduce the ability of natural and man made systems to withstand even normal weather events There is much that remains to be understood about the ways in which some forms of extreme weather such as tornadoes severe thunderstorms and extratropical storms will change as a result of global warming The United States should reduce global warming pollution now and plan for a future in which some types of extreme weather events are more severe and occur more frequently Federal and state governments should adopt and implement caps on global warming pollution capable of reducing emissions by at least 35 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and by at least 85 percent by 2050 and implement the clean energy solutions needed to make these reductions

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/reports/nje/path-storm-0 (2016-05-01)
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  • A Double Success | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    Links Contact About Us Our Research Results News Report A Double Success Tackling Global Warming While Growing the Economy with an Improved Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Released by Environment New Jersey Research Policy Center Release date Tuesday March 26 2013 Read News Release Download Report PDF Get our RSS feed Archives Blog News Releases Reports Resources Results Homepage About Us Contact Us Donate Our research Privacy Environment New Jersey Research

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/reports/nje/double-success (2016-05-01)
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  • Wind Power for a Cleaner America | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    future More water is withdrawn from U S lakes rivers streams and aquifers for the purpose of cooling power plants than for any other purpose Air pollution from power plants threatens the health of millions of Americans Wind energy avoids about 68 million metric tons of global warming pollution annually equivalent to taking 13 million of today s passenger vehicles off the road and saves more than enough water to supply the annual water needs of a city the size of Boston Wind energy also avoids 137 000 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions and 91 000 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions important contributors to ozone smog and soot pollution Texas Iowa and California lead the nation in wind energy capacity delivering the greatest reductions in global warming pollution water consumption and health threatening air pollution If construction of new wind energy projects continues from 2013 to 2016 at a pace comparable to that of recent years the United States could reduce global warming pollution by an additional 56 million metric tons in 2016 equivalent to the amount produced by 11 million passenger vehicles These projects would also save enough water to meet the annual water needs of 600 000 people and reduce air pollution by an additional 108 000 tons of nitrogen oxides and 79 000 tons of sulfur dioxide America has abundant wind energy potential The U S Department of Energy estimates that 20 percent of the nation s electricity could be supplied by wind power in 2030 up from 3 percent in 2011 To achieve that level of generation construction of new generating capacity would need continue at levels comparable to that of recent years Wind energy s success in reducing air pollution and saving water will continue to grow if policies such as tax incentives and renewable

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/reports/nje/wind-power-cleaner-america (2016-05-01)
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  • The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    at the federal level to jumpstart a robust offshore wind industry in America Governor O Malley has been pushing for a similar measure in Maryland which is expected to be considered by the state legislature in 2013 Nine states along the coast from Maine to Delaware have prioritized clean energy by requiring a certain percentage of the state s power be generated from renewable sources The New England Governors recently signed an agreement to pursue a coordinated strategy to purchase renewable energy Massachusetts Rhode Island and New Jersey have pursued critical research and planning efforts to facilitate sound siting decisions and similar efforts are underway in New York and Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Can Be Developed in a Manner that Protects Wildlife Europe has been producing energy from its offshore wind resources for over two decades and has been able to avoid and minimize many of the impacts to wildlife For example Danish research shows that birds have a strong tendency to avoid offshore wind energy turbines While conditions are different here in the U S initial research on birds bats sea turtles and marine mammals off our coast suggests that we can achieve the same result if leasing decisions are based on sound science and informed by key experts and stakeholders Specifically data shows that bird density is significantly lower in offshore environments farther from shore All energy sources have some impact on wildlife but research shows that appropriately sited and mitigated offshore wind energy is a much safer bet than fossil fuels A Thriving Offshore Wind Industry Will be an Economic Powerhouse for America America s wind industry currently employs over 75 000 people and research shows that approximately 300 000 jobs and over 200 billion in new economic activity could result from a robust American offshore wind industry In addition to supporting thousands of jobs to design construct and operate offshore wind energy projects substantial industrial manufacturing jobs will be needed to produce turbines foundations blades sub stations and cables along the coast Over 40 000 people are currently employed in the offshore wind industry in Europe with over 300 000 jobs expected by 2020 Offshore Wind Energy Can Provide Affordable Reliable Power When and Where We Need it Most America s immense offshore wind resource lies in close proximity to some of our biggest cities presenting an opportunity to utilize clean energy to meet the growing demand for power along the East Coast Offshore winds blow strongest during the day and at other times of peak demand such as heat waves as documented by real time wind monitors off Massachusetts and Rhode Island Plugging offshore wind into the grid will lead to lower more predictable energy prices over time For example the New York Independent System Operator has found that for every 1 000 MW of wind on the system consumers save 300 million in wholesale energy costs While natural gas prices are currently at historical lows the region needs to make energy investment decisions for

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/reports/nje/turning-point-atlantic-offshore-wind-energy (2016-05-01)
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  • When it Rains, it Pours | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    trend was most pronounced in New England and the Middle Atlantic Connecticut Delaware Massachusetts Maine New Hampshire New Jersey New York Pennsylvania and Vermont all saw the intensity of the largest storm each year increase by 20 percent or more The trend also occurred across the Midwest the South and the West In total 43 states experienced a statistically significant increase in the amount of precipitation produced by the largest annual rain or snow storm Only one Oregon recorded a significant decrease For full state data see Table A 4 on page 37 Global warming driven by pollution from the combustion of fossil fuels is helping to fuel the increasing severity of downpours The U S Global Change Research Program composed of a wide range of leading experts from the U S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and universities called the increase in heavy downpours one of the clearest precipitation trends in the United States and linked the phenomenon to global warming in its report Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States The average temperature in the United States has increased by 2 F over the last 50 years Nine of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2000 Warmer temperatures increase evaporation and enable the air to hold more water Scientists have found that the water content of the atmosphere is now increasing at a rate of about 1 3 percent per decade The additional moisture loaded into the atmosphere by global warming provides more fuel for intense rainstorms and snowstorms Global warming will very likely drive future increases in extreme downpours with a wide range of harmful consequences Experts at the U S Global Change Research Program project that heavy downpours are very likely to become more frequent and more intense with further warming Heavy downpours that are now 1 in 20 year occurrences are projected to occur about every 4 to 15 years by the end of this century according to their report while producing 10 to 25 percent more precipitation per storm depending on location and on the scale of future emissions of global warming pollution Extreme rain and snowstorms can harm people and property primarily by increasing the risk of flooding In 2011 floods killed more than 100 people and caused more than 8 billion in damage to property and crops Bigger and heavier rainstorms and snowstorms will not necessarily lead to more water being available for ecosystems or human use Indeed scientists warn that some areas of the country may experience both heavier extreme rainstorms and more frequent and severe drought due to higher evaporation of soil moisture and longer dry spells between significant rainstorms To protect our communities our safety and our environment we must rapidly and substantially reduce pollution that causes global warming Federal and state governments should adopt and implement limits on global warming pollution capable of reducing emissions to at least 35 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and by at

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/reports/nje/when-it-rains-it-pours (2016-05-01)
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  • Charging Forward: : The Emergence of Electric Vehicles and Their Role in Reducing Oil Consumption | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    sold in the first two years hybrids were on the market In 2012 sales of electric vehicles through May are on pace to show tremendous growth over 2011 The Chevrolet Volt a plug in hybrid electric vehicle is the top selling electric vehicle model in the United States to date with more than 15 000 units sold The Nissan Leaf an electric vehicle is the second highest seller with more than 12 000 sold Additional models including the Ford Focus EV and the Toyota Prius Plugin Hybrid covering a wide range of car sizes and styles have entered the market in 2012 The Center for Automotive Research CAR projects that 469 000 electric vehicles could be sold between 2012 and 2015 Meeting CAR s sales projections could lead to benefits including Executive Summary Charging Forward Preventing the emission of 629 000 metric tons of global warming pollution annually even with much of the electricity for vehicles being generated at coal and natural gas fired power plants That s equal to removing 123 000 conventional passenger vehicles from the road Powering the vehicles with renewable energy would raise the potential reduction in global warming pollution to 1 96 million metric tons equal to the emissions from 385 000 conventional passenger vehicles Reducing oil consumption by 2 6 million barrels of oil the equivalent of removing 221 000 2012 model gasoline vehicles from the road altogether More ambitious schedules for electric vehicle deployment are possible Putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 as has been proposed by President Obama and others would offer even greater pollution and oil savings benefits reducing oil consumption by over 5 6 million barrels annually Electric vehicle support infrastructure is spreading rapidly through the country as of March 2012 more than 7 000 charging

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/reports/njc/charging-forward-emergence-electric-vehicles-and-their-role-reducing-oil-consumption (2016-05-01)
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  • A Record of Leadership | Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center
    Northeastern States are Cutting Global Warming Pollution and Building a Clean Economy Released by Environment New Jersey Release date Wednesday April 11 2012 Read News Release Download Report PDF Get our RSS feed Archives Blog News Releases Reports Resources Results

    Original URL path: http://www.environmentnewjerseycenter.org/reports/nje/record-leadership (2016-05-01)
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