Environment Colorado Research and Policy Center has found that the next major step we can take to significantly curb the amount of energy we use is right at our doorstep. Over 40 percent of our energy goes toward powering America’s buildings. According to our report, “Building Better,” we can cut that in half by 2050 if we take steps to require higher levels of energy efficiency from new buildings and ensure we are doing all we can to encourage retrofitting and weatherizing our existing ones.
We’re restoring Clean Water Act protections.
More than 800,000 of us called on the Environmental Protection Agency to close loopholes in the Clean Water Act. And in May, they answered by finalizing a rule to restore protections to the more than 20 million acres of wetlands, 60% of streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.
Mercury is a toxic heavy metal, and it is too often found in dangerous amounts in our fish. Eating too much fish from contaminated local sources puts everyone, especially children and pregnant women, at risk. Our summary of the health risks associated with mercury and the number of state and nation-wide advisories for lakes and rivers helped to motivate Colorado power plants to slash their mercury emissions by 90 percent over the next decade, and has helped to put us on track to start retiring coal plants in the Denver-metro region.
More successful cities
By outlining what a high-quality transit system could do for a community, we educated Coloradans about the benefits of FasTracks, a plan to create a regional transit system in the Denver area.
Driving the climate change message home
We’ve helped educate thousands of Coloradans about the threat global warming poses to our economy and public health, showing that one out of 11 Coloradans live in counties that have alredy experienced federal weather disasters between 2006 and 2011, and that global warming loads the dice for more extreme weather events.