Our Research

Star Power: The Growing Role of Solar Energy in America

America could meet its energy needs by capturing just a sliver of the virtually limitless and pollution-free energy that strikes the nation every day in the form of sunlight. With solar installation costs falling, the efficiency of solar cells rising, and the threats of air pollution and global warming ever-looming, solar power is becoming a more attractive and widespread source of energy every day. Star Power: The Growing Role of Solar Energy in America challenges our local, state and federal government officials to set strong goals and implement pro-solar policies to spur America to meet at least 10 percent of our nation’s electricity needs with solar power by 2030.

(November 2014)
Subsidizing Congestion: The Multibillion-Dollar Tax Subsidy that's Making Your Commute Worse

Federal tax subsidies for commuter parking add 820,000 cars to the roads - often during rush hour in America's biggest, most congested cities - at a cost to taxpayers of $7.3 billion per year, according to Subsidizing Congestion, a report issued by the civic philanthropy TransitCenter and Frontier Group. The report finds that the tax benefit for commuter transit use - while beneficial - only weakly counteracts the negative effects of the parking subsidy. The report calls for detailed evaluation of commuter tax benefits and reforms to better align tax incentives with the nation's overall transportation goals.

(November 2014)
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)

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