Solar water heating has the potential to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels and curb pollution that causes global warming and respiratory problems. By taking advantage of America’s full potential to produce hot water for homes and businesses from solar energy, the nation could reduce natural gas consumption by 2.5 percent and electricity use by nearly one percent, while avoiding 52 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution per year – equivalent to emissions from 13 coal-fired power plants or 9.9 million cars.
America’s national parks are the nation’s most treasured places—where visitors can experience the best of America’s great outdoors, wildlife, history and culture. National parks are becoming increasingly popular. In 2009, overall visitorship was up by 4%, the highest level in nearly a decade.23 Two-thirds of national parks, including parks in nearly every state, saw an increase in visitors in 2009. However, even as more people are visiting parks, operating budgets for the majority of national parks are at risk of being cut. Nearly three-quarters of parks that saw an increase in visitorship last year face a budget cut in the next fiscal year.