EWG is working toward an energy future in which clean, safe and economical sources such as solar and wind power replace dirty, dangerous and expensive coal and nuclear power. We're also investigating the use and disposal of hazardous chemicals in oil and gas drilling, toxic gasoline additives such as corn ethanol and MTBE, uranium mining on public lands, and the transport of nuclear waste through American cities.
The House Republican leadership is considering legislation to strictly limit oil company liability for contaminating groundwater in at least 28 states with the toxic gasoline additive MTBE, or methyl tertiary butyl ether. The oil industry and its friends in Congress say it's only fair to shield MTBE makers from lawsuits, since, they claim, it was the government that mandated oil companies to reformulate gas with MTBE in the first place, to clean the air.
Airborne soot and dust, technically known as particulate air pollution, causes or contributes to the deaths of more Californians than car accidents, murder and AIDS combined. State health officials are proposing new air pollution rules that could save or extend more than 6,500 lives a year, but the proposal faces strong and well-financed opposition from major oil companies and automakers.
California regulators have failed to order cleanup or take other legally binding enforcement action on more than 90 percent of the thousands of underground fuel storage tanks known to be leaking toxic chemicals into water and soil throughout the state, although many of the leaks were first reported more than 10 years ago, according to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) computer-assisted investigation. Even when cleanup was ordered, regulators almost never fined even the biggest polluters.Read More
Claims that corn ethanol is making a major contribution to America’s security and energy independence by reducing oil imports are wildly exaggerated, an analysis by Environmental Working Group (EWG) shows. Between 2005 and 2009, taxpayers spent a whopping $17 billion to subsidize ethanol. In return, they got a reduction in overall oil consumption equal to an unimpressive 1.1 mile-per-gallon increase in overall fuel economy.Read More
The production of electricity causes more damage to the environment than any other single human activity. Electricity production is now the largest single use of energy in the United States. Electricity generation is responsible for 69 percent of the sulfur dioxide and 32 percent of the nitrogen oxide emissions that foul the air and cause acid rain. Electricity use accounts for 35 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, the key culprit in global climate change. It is responsible for millions of miles of rivers and streams being disrupted by dams, hundreds of tons of nuclear waste that must find a permanent home somewhere, and thousands of tons of air pollutants that are a major cause of respiratory problems.Read More
In the final weeks of the election season, competing philosophies about pollution control have come to the fore in presidential politics. A new computer investigation by the Environmental Working Group indicates that Gov. George W. Bush's approach to pollution control has been a major factor in making Houston the nation's smoggiest city and Texas our smoggiest state. Because states play a decisive role in implementing federal pollution laws, the Texas experience will have profound implications for clean air nationally under a Bush administration.Read More
The Justice Department and USEPA announced actions against 32 power plants that they claim are operating in violation of the Clean Air Act.
Most voters do not know that George W. Bush's policy advisors typically work for corporate front groups working for goals far outside the mainstream environmental perspective.Read More
Urban and suburban high- ways account for less than three percent of road miles in metropolitan areas, yet they carry more than one third of all vehicle miles traveled in our nation’s cities and suburbs. As Congress tackles reauthorization of the nation’s transportation law, the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation and Efficiency Act (ISTEA), these interstates, free- ways, and expressways — the vital core of the country’s road network — are crumbling. The main reason is that each year state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) divert billions of dollars available for road repair to the construction of new highways, typically on the suburban fringe.Read More
In the five years before electricity deregulation, California utilities cut funding in half for programs that save energy, save customers money, and help save the environment.Read More
In the five years before electricity deregulation, California utilities cut funding in half for programs that save energy, save customers money, and help save the environment. According to an analysis of federal data by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the wasted energy would supply a year’s worth of power to more than 600,000 homes, and would have cost California consumers almost $450 million at pre-deregulation rates.
Electricity generation from old, heavily-polluting coal-fired power plants rose 15.8 percent nationwide between 1992 and 1998, an increase big enough to power all the industries, businesses and homes in the state of California for a year. This jump, which was spurred in large part by loopholes in the Clean Air Act and the deregulation of the wholesale electric power market, threatens to erode completely the steps that have been taken to reduce pollution from coal-fired power plants. If not for this huge increase in generation from coal-fired power plants the air would be much cleaner today.Read More
An Environmental Working Group analysis of recently released enforcement records from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) reveals a persistent pattern of “significant violations” of the Clean Air Act (CAA) in five major industries. Hundreds of large facilities in auto assembly, iron and steel, petroleum refining, pulp manufacturing, and metal smelting and refining are threatening the public health by their repeated failure to comply with federal clean air safeguards. Worse, there has been little effort by state or federal officials to bring even the most flagrant offenders into compliance with current statutory requirements.
The summer of 1998 was the hottest on record, and that’s saying something. After all, the seven warmest years since scientists began keeping records in 1853 have all occurred in the past ten years, and 1997 was the warmest ever. So far, every month of 1998 has broken the temperature record for that month, and July 1998 was the single hottest month on record (NOAA 1998). To put it another way, we’ve probably just lived through the hottest seven-month period in 600 years.
Florida has some of the cleanest air in the nation. The "Sunshine State's" air is so pure, in fact, that 66 out of 67 counties in Florida already comply with tough new Federal clean air standards for soot and ground-level ozone announced by President Clinton in July.
Although farming contributes little to the problem of airborne toxic particles, farmers suddenly find themselves in the middle of a heated battle over an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal to improve air quality by reducing emissions from electric utilities, chemical plants and oil companies.
Tens of thousands of people die prematurely each year from microscopic toxic particles in the air we breathe. To reduce particle pollution to safe levels, EPA has proposed updating the decade-old health standard for so-called “particulate matter”. According to the EPA, updated health standards, in combination with other ongoing pollution control initiatives, will save 35,000 lives each year (EPA 1997).
On Nov. 27, 1996, the Clinton Administration proposed new regulations to clean up an especially deadly form of air pollution--tiny particles that penetrate deep into human lungs, claiming the lives of more than 64,000 Americans every year (EPA 1993, NRDC 1996). The rule also proposes new standards for ground-level ozone, an issue which is not addressed in this study.Read More