Why Clean Power?
Cleaning up our electrical system is critical to winning the fight against global climate change, and we are making progress every day. States are hard at work preparing to implement the Clean Power Plan — our country’s first-ever national limits on dangerous carbon pollution from power plants, and one in four Americans already live in places that limit these pollutants at the state level. Other clean energy policies, such as renewable portfolio standards, reinforce market forces that are driving our grid towards cleaner, cheaper alternatives to fossil fuels.
As these policies move us toward a carbon-free electrical system, we will see important benefits for our climate, health, and economy. But we must accelerate this transition to a clean energy economy to win the global race for clean energy jobs and protect our economy from the devastating impacts of climate change.
Clean energy will bring significant health benefits to low-income communities and other neighborhoods that have long borne a disproportionate share of the negative effects of dirty power plants. Replacing coal-fired combustion in the power sector with low-cost renewable power will help us reduce dangerous soot, mercury, and pollutants that cause smog and acid rain. These pollutants exacerbate and cause asthma, lung cancer, heart disease, birth defects, and other ailments. An M.I.T. study estimated that air pollution contributes to over 200,000 premature deaths per year in the United States alone.
The transition to clean energy will also drive investment in America’s economy, create jobs right here at home, and spur innovation. American workers will manufacture and install solar panels, wind turbines, and utility-scale batteries, build new high-voltage transmission lines, and update our aging grid infrastructure. Industries will implement new efficient manufacturing systems and move to cleaner fuels. Carpenters and electricians, community organizations, and local hardware stores will install energy efficient equipment and appliances in our homes, to improve comfort with better insulation, furnaces and air conditioning. These changes will create good jobs in every state while protecting our climate from the harmful effects of carbon pollution.
We are working with partners in state and federal government, business leaders, labor organizations, and local communities to help drive policy decisions that will promote clean energy and a healthy climate.
Our work helps level the playing field for clean energy resources like wind, solar, and energy efficiency. We are also helping states find smart ways to implement America’s first ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants in the Clean Power Plan, and helping to ensure that Americans get a fair deal when it comes to the government’s management of the natural resources that belong to all of us. We believe that communities that move away from reliance on a fossil fuel economy deserve our respect and support as our society transitions to cleaner energy alternatives. NextGen Climate America is committed to pursuing inclusive policies that help to connect all Americans to the benefits of a clean energy economy.