A new report from Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group, “Electric Buses: Clean Transportation for Healthier Neighborhoods and Cleaner Air,” shows that a transition to electric buses for NJ Transit could avoid climate-altering and localized air pollution each day without losing reliability.
Over the last decade, clean energy has grown by leaps and bounds. Technologies that can help America shift away from fossil fuels — like solar panels, wind turbines, LED light bulbs, energy storage and electric cars — have gone from novelties to core features of the nation's energy landscape.
People across America and New Jersey regularly breathe unhealthy air that increases their risk of premature death, asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts. Levels of air pollution that meet current federal air quality standards can be harmful to health, especially with prolonged exposure. Metropolitan and micropolitan areas across New Jersey experienced more than 100 days on which smog and/or particulate pollution was “moderate” or higher – in other words, above the level that the EPA has determined presents “little to no risk.”
Solar power is expanding rapidly. The United States now has over 53 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed – enough to power 10.1 million homes and 26 times as much capacity as was installed at the end of 2010. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have invested in solar energy and millions more are ready to join them.
Over a 21-month period from January 2016 to September 2017, major industrial facilities released pollution that exceeded the levels allowed under their Clean Water Act permits more than 8,100 times. Often, these polluters faced no fines or penalties.
Environment New Jersey 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.