After years of setbacks on the environment, in the Biden administration’s early days, it is critical that we take swift action to clean up our environment and address the climate crisis. There are several important environmental policies that can be set in motion on day one that will protect our natural landscapes and give Americans cleaner air, cleaner water and a more livable climate. This report lists the First Thigns to Fix.
America’s waterways are a national asset. They are the places we swim on hot summer days, kayak with friends and family, spend a relaxing day fishing, and so much more. Yet billions of gallons of stormwater runoff and sewage overflows continue to pollute our rivers, lakes and coastal waters. As a result,
all too often our beaches are unsafe for swimming, communities are flooded with sewage, and toxic algal outbreaks threaten wildlife and public health. Absent strong action from our leaders, these pollution problems will worsen in coming years, as overdevelopment and more intense storms put greater burdens on our fraying water infrastructure systems.
Clean energy is sweeping across America and is poised for more dramatic growth in the coming years. Wind and solar energy were just beginning to take off ten years ago; today, they are everyday parts of America’s energy landscape
People across America regularly breathe polluted air that increases their risk of premature death, and can also trigger asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts. In 2018, 108 million Americans lived in areas that experienced more than 100 days of degraded air quality.
The environmental dangers posed by offshore oil spills, such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, are well known. The damage to the environment, communities and public health from the onshore infrastructure needed to support offshore drilling is less well known, but no less real.
Environment Washington 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.