Our Research

Waterways Restored: The Clean Water Act's Impact on 15 American Rivers, Lakes and Bays

In the early 1970s, many American rivers and streams were contaminated with toxic industrial pollution, choked with untreated sewage and trash, and, in many cases, devoid of aquatic life.

In 2014, 42 years after the passage of the Clean Water Act, many of these formerly degraded waterways are returning to health. But at least one-third of the country’s rivers, streams and lakes are not yet safe for fishing and swimming.

Our 15 case studies show that when the Clean Water Act applies to waterways, it is a powerful and effective tool for improving water quality for humans and wildlife.

(October 2014)
Millennials in Motion : Changing Travel Habits Among Young Americans and their Implications for Public Policy

Members of the Millennial generation are driving less than previous generations of young Americans and taking transit and biking more. They are more likely to want to live in urban and walkable communities, more technologically connected, and more likely to use new transportation apps and services than older Americans. What is behind those changes? And will they last? Millennials in Motion explores the many factors at play in Millennials' move away from driving and argues that many of those changes are likely to be lasting.

(October 2014)
Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America's Transportation Future

Americans are driving less than in years past. Yet states continue to move forward with highway construction and expansion projects that consume a large share of shrinking transportation revenues, even as other needs – from public transportation improvements to road and bridge repairs – go unmet. Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America’s Transportation Future describes 11 questionable projects around the country – slated to cost at least $13 billion – and calls on policymakers to reevaluate these huge capacity-expanding plans in the context of competing needs and changing priorities.

(September 2014)
America's Dirtiest Power Plants: Polluters on a Global Scale

America’s power plants are among the leading global sources of the dangerous carbon pollution that is fueling global warming. In fact, in 2012 U.S. power plants produced more carbon pollution than India’s entire economy. With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recently proposed Clean Power Plan, America now has a blueprint for bold action that would cut power plant pollution by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. In America’s Dirtiest Power Plants, we document the scale of U.S. power plant pollution and the urgent need to strengthen and implement the Clean Power Plan as a first step toward addressing global warming.

(September 2014)
Fork in the Road: Will Wisconsin Waste Money on Unneeded Highway Expansion or Invest in 21st Century Transportation Priorities?

Wisconsin’s transportation spending priorities are backwards. In recent years, despite ongoing fiscal challenges, the state has spent billions of dollars on highway expansion projects while slashing transit funding and curbing assistance for local road repair. Fork in the Road: Will Wisconsin Waste Money on Unneeded Highway Expansion or Invest in 21st Century Transportation Priorities? highlights the choice Wisconsin faces: showering $2.8 billion on unnecessary highway expansions, or investing a smaller amount in true transportation priorities, and calls on state officials to reorient the state’s transportation priorities to encourage highway repair and expanded transportation options.

(September 2014)

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