We already have the technology and resources to move the United States toward a sustainable, clean energy economy. What we need is the political will to make it happen.
With the support of our members, UCS experts work to identify and promote practical, cost-effective energy policies that emphasize renewable energy, increase energy efficiency, and decrease our use of coal and other fossil fuels.
Emphasize Renewable Energy
We need smart energy policies that encourage the development and growth of renewable energy technologies. Much can be accomplished on a state or regional level, but only a robust national clean energy policy can move the entire country toward a safer, healthier energy future.
Improve Standards that Decrease Coal Use
Strong pollution and emissions standards can greatly reduce the impact of the nation’s coal-fired power plants. Robust scientific analysis can help identify power plants with the greatest environmental impacts—and encourage policy makers and utility companies to shut them down.
Enhance Policies that Increase Energy Efficiency
A variety of programs and policies can significantly improve the energy efficiency of our homes, businesses, and industries. Building codes that encourage energy-efficient designs, campaigns and programs that highlight smart consumer choices, and investment in advanced technologies that reduce energy use can all play a role in improving the nation’s energy efficiency.
Enact a Strong National Climate Policy
To address the threats of global warming, we must significantly reduce our carbon emissions. To accomplish it, we need a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach that emphasizes renewable energy sources, increases energy efficiency, and minimizes energy-related carbon emissions—a practical, cost-effective strategy that UCS outlines in detail in Climate 2030: A National Blueprint for a Clean Energy Economy. A strong national climate policy can help provide the framework to make this blueprint a reality.
Energy Policy Background Information
The Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA) and Public Utility Holding Act (PUHCA) established important regulations for the U.S. utility industry, several of which have been crucial for the development of renewable energy.