With over 38 million people driving to visit family and friends on trips of at least 50 miles, Americans are expected to spend $552 million at the gas pump this Thanksgiving holiday. However, if the average passenger vehicle met a 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) standard instead of the current 26.4 mpg standard, Americans would save $260 million at the gas pump on Thanksgiving travel this year and cut gasoline consumption by 75 million gallons.
All Americans should be able to breathe clean air. But pollution from power plants and vehicles puts the health of our nation’s children and families at risk. Ground-level ozone, the main component of smog, is one of the most harmful and one of the most pervasive air pollutants. This report looks at the number of days that were considered unhealthy for sensitive populations across cities nationwide. The report also shows new data showing the problem is worse than the public thought.
Uranium mining—which often requires vast open pits, spreads radioactive dust through the air, and leaks radioactivity and toxic chemicals into the environment—is among the riskiest industrial activities in the world. Every uranium mine ever operated in the United States has required some degree of toxic waste cleanup, and the worst have sickened dozens of people, contaminated miles of rivers and streams, and required the cleanup of hundreds of acres of land.
By taking strong action to cut down on energy waste and shift to cleaner sources of energy, America could reduce its consumption of oil for energy by 1.9 billion barrels of oil per year by 2030—31 percent of today’s oil use— while achieving President Obama’s goal of reducing oil imports by one-third by 2025 and putting the nation on track to ending its dependence on oil.
Hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling – a form of natural gas extraction rapidly spreading across Pennsylvania – poses serious potential for harm to our environment and our health. These impacts put the health of Pennsylvanians at risk – especially children and other vulnerable populations.
PennEnvironment 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.