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

Climate & Energy

Economic action to stop global warming

Leaving Dirty Energy Behind

Coal PollutionHumans are causing changes in the climate due to our reliance on dirty energy. To avert the worst effects of climate change, Americans must immediately move beyond our use of fossil fuels, and upgrade the outdated technology we use to power our homes, factories and offices; grow our food; and run our transportation. We can do this.

Join us and explore the two leading generators of carbon dioxide in the United States: electricity production at 41%, and transportation at 33% [EPA study of fossil fuel emissions in the US]. Then, find out ways you can take action for cleaner electricity and greener transportation.

NEW: Divest from climate change: greenamerica.org/fossilfree

 

Electricity Production

The graph below details the major sources of power generation in the United States. Coal is the most polluting source of power we use, yet it generates 45% of our power - more than any other single source. Incredibly, there are plans to build over 100 new coal-fired power plants in the United States, producing millions more tons of CO2 and tons of other pollutants. Natural gas is less polluting, while hydroelectric, solar and wind power produce almost no carbon emissions.

Green America is calling for an end to coal, while also calling for a rapid increase in energy efficiency and green power.

Electricity Generation by Utilities in the United States, April 2010 [DOE]

Chart: US Energy Electricity sources ranked by CO2 produced per unit of energy
1. Coal (learn more)
2. Petroleum Liquids
3. Natural Gas
4. Nuclear (learn more)
5. Hydroelectric, Solar, Wind and Geothermal (learn more)

Learn more about electricity production ...

Transportation

There are a range of options available when it comes to new fuels and new cars. Should we run our cars on electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, vegetable oil or a hybrid of these? See our climate-impact assessment of automobile fuels and technologies in Green American's Fueling Our Future feature article, then find out why we say no to Corn Ethanol and yes to Plug-in Electric Hybrids.

Find more green transportation solutions in "Reclaiming the Streets," a recent issue of the Green American, as well as our articles: The Money-Saving Perks of a Hybrid Car, and Carpool for the Climate and Community.


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