Our Research

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)
Weak Medicine: Why the FDA's Guidelines Are Inadequate to Curb Antibiotic Resistance and Protect Public Health

Livestock often are fed antibiotics so that they grow faster with less feed and can remain healthy in the unsanitary, disease-laden conditions common on factory farms, despite the fact that this overuse of antibiotics contributes to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause 23,000 deaths each year. In response, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily stop the sale of antibiotics to farms for animal “growth promotion.” Weak Medicine explains why the FDA’s action is unlikely to put a serious dent in antibiotic use on factory farms. Without a reduction in the antibiotics fed to livestock, the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria will not slow down.

(August 2014)

Childhood Hunger in America's Suburbs shows that eligibility for free and reduced-price lunches rose across the nation between 2006-07 and 2010-11, and rose faster in suburban areas than in urban, rural, or town communities. Suburban public schools still have a lower percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunches than schools in the rest of the country. But the rise of child poverty in suburban areas means that suburbs increasingly look like the rest of America when it comes to the prevalence of poor children.This knowledge should be included in policy discussions about how to address the interrelated problems of hunger and poverty in America.

(August 2014)

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