Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year – threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pollution from industrial facilities is responsible for threatening or fouling water quality in more than 14,000 miles of rivers and more than 220,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide.
The continued release of large volumes of toxic chemicals into the nation’s waterways shows that the nation needs to do more to reduce the threat posed by toxic chemicals to our environment and our health and to ensure that our waterways are fully protected against harmful pollution.
In 2009, Ohio received 84 percent of its electricity from coal, the dirtiest fuel used to generate electricity. Over the last few years, however, Ohio has begun to develop alternatives to reduce our reliance on coal and other fossil fuels, cutting air pollution and reducing the state’s contribution to global warming.
Ohio’s Clean Energy Law, passed in 2008 to promote the development of homegrown alternatives to fossil fuels, has now been in effect for more than three years. In that time, the state has taken important strides toward a clean energy future, including the development of several major renewable energy facilities.
America’s dependence on oil threatens our environment, our economy, and our national security. Whether it is the scars left by the oil spills in the Yellowstone and Kalamazoo rivers and the Gulf of Mexico, the $1 billion that American families and businesses send overseas every day for oil, or the nearly 2 billion metric tons of global warming pollution emitted annually which fuels more and more extreme weather, these problems demand that we break our dependence on oil.
Environment Ohio 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.