Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Archived Editorials

For permission to print one of Green America's editorials, please contact Todd Larsen by email, or by phone at 202-872-5310.

Against the Wind
Maryland faces the same energy choices as the nation overall. Shortly before Congress left for its long summer vacation, Senator Barbara Mikulski tried to block a 150-megawatt wind farm. Read more »

Fracking Boondoggie at Cove Point
A few years ago, Tammy Manning and her family moved to Franklin Forks, Pennsylvania, 10 miles from the New York state border. When WPX Energy opened up two fracking wells near her property, Tammy noticed that something was very wrong in her household. Read more »

Too Big to Sue
Years after their wrongdoing ignited the financial crisis, the Justice Department apparently is acting like massive U.S. banks are too big to prosecute. The range of abuses and crimes committed by banks seems to grow without end. As soon as one predatory practice fades from the headlines, another appears moments later. Read more »

Toxic Tech
Ming Kunpeng went to work for ASM Pacific Technology — a chip supplier for Apple — when he was 19 years old. Required to handle the known carcinogen benzene on a daily basis without adequate training or protective gear, the young worker fell ill at the age of 22. Doctors eventually diagnosed him with occupational leukemia. Read more »

Strengthen Pollution Standards for Power Plants
The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the EPA may regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants dangerous to human health under the Clean Air Act. Limits on new power plants were first proposed in 2012. it's time to enforce pollution standards »

In 2014, Stop Investing in Climate Destruction
With the introduction of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act of 2013, Washington, DC became just the most recent municipality to consider divestment. More than 20 U.S. cities have already made formal commitments to divest, along with various universities and religious institutions. You can too »

Congress: Extend the Production Tax Credit for Wind Energy
Once again, one of the few mechanisms in the tax code designed to reward clean-energy producers faces a looming deadline. If Congress fails to renew a program called the Production Tax Credit before it expires on Dec 31, 2013, the wind industry and American workers will suffer »

You Have the Right to Know
We are accustomed to seeing all of these labels on our food. However, there is one label that exists in 64 countries that you won’t find in the United States – a label for genetically modified ingredients. Tell your representatives to support the Right to Know Act »

Kiss of Death? Lead in Lipstick
A May 2013 study by the University of California-Berkeley found lead, a substance that can cause brain and nervous system damage, in cosmetics. If you think that the government is keeping us safe, you're wrong. Read more »

Banking on the Poor

What’s a fair interest rate to pay on a loan? If you’d be outraged to learn that some of the country’s biggest banks charge exorbitant triple-digit interest on their most vulnerable customers, you might want to read more »

Keep Windmills Turning in 2013
Should Congress renew the wind-energy production tax credit that’s scheduled to expire at the end of 2012? It depends on whom you ask — a Democrat, a Republican, or another Republican. Read more »

Clearing the Air
Many health care organizations have joined environmental advocates like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council in supporting a new EPA rule that would curb the deadly pollution spewed from the next generation of coal-fired power plants. Read more »

We Need to Know What's In Our Food
The FDA requires no labeling for produce grown from genetically modified seeds or for products made with genetically modified ingredients. Yet some of the most common ingredients in processed food — like soy and corn — are almost always genetically modified. Read more »

Ohio Earthquakes Underscore Fracking Dangers
What's the newest reason to oppose hyraudlic fracturing, the natural-gas extraction process known as "fracking"? Earthquakes. At issue with the quakes is the management of the of chemical-tainted wastewater fracking leaves behind. Read More »

Obama: Time to Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline
The Keystone XL pipeline would run thousands of miles from the oil sands of northern Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas, imperling hundreds of miles of sensitive farmland and aquifers in America's heartland. Read More »

A Way to Jump-Start PACE
While it might seem rare these days for Republicans and Democrats cooperatively to work together on anything, two Republican members of the US House of Representatives recently joined with a Democratic colleague to introduce some important new renewable energy legislation.  Read More »

Stand Up to Big Plastic
What will our grandchildren think of the disposable plastic bag? Will they see it as a relic of a bygone era? It depends on the winner in a number of battles now playing out both in state and local governments, and between the bag manufacturers themselves. Read More »

Cell Phone Radiation Risks
Have you ever read the fine-print in your cell-phone owner's manual? It turns out the companies know you could be risking your health when you hold one of these devices close to your body. Gauging their precise dangers could take years, so let's take precautions now. Read More »

Keep Child Slavery Out of the Cocoa Supply Chain
Sorry to scare you, but on Halloween, much of the chocolate Americans will hand out to trick-or-treaters will be tainted by the labor of enslaved children. Hershey's, Nestlé, and the other big chocolate companies know this. It's time to hold them accountable. Read More »

Fannie and Freddie: Pick up the PACE
The giant mortgage lenders have put the brakes on some of the most innovative new renewable-energy financing projects in the country -- property-assessed clean energy programs, also known as PACE. It's time for them to back off. Read More »

No More Toxic Spills!
It's not just it's not just oil companies causing toxic spills, costly clean-ups, and destruction on an Exxon-Valdez scale. Coal-ash spills in Appalachia are also showing how we just can't afford fossil fuels anymore. It's time for renewable energy NOW.  Read More »

There's Still a Climate Crisis, Even in the Snow
The snow might make a satisfying visual backdrop to symbolize the opposite of “global warming” for those ignoring the science, but the fierce snowstorms represent more of a wake-up call from Mother Nature that something is going on with our atmosphere.   Read More »

Stop the Blasting: Build a Wind Farm on Coal River Mountain
There’s a clear choice to be made on Coal River Mountain, one that mirrors the larger energy choice we confront as a nation: continue with destructive, pollution-laden business as usual, or build the green-energy future.   Read More »

In Support of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency
The Obama administration, responding to the well-known financial abuses that helped cause and exacerbate the financial collapse in the fall of 2008, proposed a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) – a financial parallel to the agencies that protect consumers from harmful food products or retail goods. It's an idea whose time has come. Read More »

Preserve the Clean Air Act in the Senate Climate Bill
Several sections of the House version of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) require correction by the Senate, perhaps none with as much imperative as ACES’ limiting of the scope of the 1970 Clean Air Act.  Read More »

Solutions for America: Thrift and Shift
We need to return to our nation's roots and make thrift a fundamental value. We need to make conspicuous consumption a thing of the past, return to the days when people made and bought things that were useful, and make reuse and repair the new status symbols. Read More »

Clean Energy Victory Bonds
In World War II, Pres. Roosevelt promoted “Victory Bonds,” raising $185 billion ($2 trillion in today’s dollars) from the more than 85 million Americans who stepped up to get involved. We can use the same tool today in the struggle against climate change. Read More »

Rethinking the GDP
The GDP counts destructive economic activity (say, commerce that produces pollution) equally alongside positive solutions (the economic activity required to clean up that pollution). Maybe it's time to rethink what kind of economic growth we measure as "good." Read More »

Solutions from the Green Economy
Everyone now understands what Green Americans have known for years — the economy is not working for people and the planet. We give six suggestions for how to move from greed to green, and we tell you how we'd pay for it (Clean Energy Victory Bonds). Read More »

Community Investing: A Solution to the Housing Crisis
The US housing market has witnessed a mortgage collapse unlike anything we’ve seen since the Great Depression. With housing foreclosures affecting neighborhoods around the country, our editorial explains how community investing can be part of the solution. Read More »

Clean Energy for America: It's Possible Now
What do you get when you combine greater energy efficiency, investment in wind and solar, and a big change in how we power our cars? Answer: Good jobs, energy security, and a cleaner environment. (And the best news is, we can do this today!) Read More »

Combatting the E-Waste Deluge
The switch to digital TV in early 2009 could trigger an unprecedented deluge of e-waste, as analog households discard their used TVs in favor of a newer model. Fortunately, there actions we can all take to turn back the tide. Read More »

Time for a Moratorium on Coal
According to a 2007 poll, nearly 90 percent of Americans surveyed said they favor a moratorium on coal plants, and agree that it’s time for a new industrial revolution, that phases out fossil fuels and replaces them with clean, renewable energy sources.” (Guess what? They're right.) Read More »

Ten Strikes Against Nuclear Power
Nuclear waste, proliferation, and national security issues alone are enough to keep nuclear power off the table. Our Ten Strikes show why nukes are no match for renewables as a climate solution. Read More »

Tell Your Bank to Stop Funding Climate Change
Electric utilities are learning that coal-fired power doesn't pay, as the price of renewable energy drops, more regulators favor renewable power, alarm grows about coal's health concerns, and more energy consumers demand cleaner power. Read More »

What You Can Do to Fight Sweatshops
It’s the holiday season.  Do you know what corporate abuses you might be supporting with the hard-earned money you spend on gifts?  Our editorial gives you strategies for avoiding sweatshops, and tells you how to push Congress to do more. Read More »

Taxpayers Should Not Bear Risk of Nuclear Power
Bills passed in both the House and Senate could ease the way for energy companies to perpetuate the grave health and public safety risks associated with nuclear power, and also to expose American taxpayers to their financial risks. Read More »

"No" to Corn Ethanol; "Yes" to Plug-in Hybrids
While politicians talk up the promise of ethanol, researchers are calculating the costs, and proving ethanol to be a real loser among possible solutions that can help the US gain energy independence while also lessening our impact on the climate. Read More »

Against the "Perfect Petri Dish of Capitalism"
At the end of May, Congress passed a minimum wage increase for the US territory of the Marianas Islands. To stop sweatshops and bring justice to the workers of the Marianas, Congress needs to take on labor and immigration laws too. Read More »

Congress Should Enact New Solar Energy Tax Credits
In the early 1980s, the future looked bright for solar energy. The Carter Administration had recently enacted robust solar tax credits, and had published A New Prosperity, a plan to produce 38 percent of US energy from renewables by the year 2000. (We didn't make it.) Read More »

Sudan Divestment Movement Gains Momentum
Can the same economic action strategy that helped end Apartheid in South Africa help bring peace to Darfur? Prominent voices on both the left and right say "yes." Find more about the powerful investor tool that has both sides of the political aisle seeing eye to eye. Read More »

Saying "No" to Conflict Diamonds
A diamond trade expert sums it up: “Diamonds are a $60 billion a year business. Even if only one percent of the market includes gems that fuel conflicts ... that’s $600 million worth of cheap assault rifles and rocket launchers killing thousands of people every year.” Read More »

Green America's 12-Step Plan for Climate Action
By adding our own green filters to recommendations from the Princeton Climate Mitigation Initiative (CMI), we developed a plan that uses current technologies; is safe, clean, and cost-effective; and is big enough to meet the climate challenge. Read More »

US Fuel Economy Standards Are Out of Date

With gas prices soaring, and US automakers losing market share to more efficient vehicles from overseas, why don't our lawmakers update the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards, which remain largely unchanged since 1979? Read More »

A Chance to Stop Sweatshops in a US Territory
If you buy American-made products to make sure your purchases aren’t propping up overseas sweatshops, there’s a bill under consideration in the House of Representatives right now that you should know about. Read More »

US Helps Destroy World's Forests
Over the years, the US government has used federal legislation to prosecute importers who violate other countries’ laws on trading in a host of wildlife- and plant-based products. We should do the same for wood products derived from illegally logged trees. Read More »

Coal Power is Just Too Dirty
Coal-fired power plants emit more carbon dioxide pollution than any other source, spewing a full 1 billion tons more per year than all the automobiles in the United States. So why is the coal industry planning to build more than 130 new coal-fired power plants in almost every state in the Union?  Read More »

Oil Independence: All Rhetoric So Far
In January’s State of the Union address, George W. Bush informed the American people of something we already knew: We’re addicted to oil. Read More »

The True Cost of Wal-Mart's Low Prices
The documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price premiered last month. It was only the latest in a steady stream of public commentary on how the business model of America’s biggest company and largest employer is bad for America. Read More »

Tax Incentives for Solar Energy at Home
When President Bush signed the 2005 Energy Bill in August, few noticed what may turn out to be the bill’s most important provision – the first federal tax credits for residential solar energy in more than two decades. Read More »

 

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Please contact Todd Larsen by email
or by phone at 202-872-5307.