Our Research

Inside the Big Oil Playbook : Strategies and Tactics Used in the Industry’s Battle to Ship Tar Sands Oil Out of Casco Bay

South Portland, Maine, became “ground zero” for the tar sands debate when residents, in partnership with several statewide environmental groups, qualified a ballot initiative to stop the oil industry from establishing Portland Harbor as the U.S. East Coast shipping hub for tar sands’ entry into the world market. In response, Big Oil launched a massive, $750,000 campaign to defeat the initiative in a city of just 25,000 people. Using Big Oil’s campaign to defeat South Portland’s Waterfront Protection Ordinance as a case study, this report describes the tools and tactics the industry can be expected to use to keep alive the possibility of shipping tar sands oil out of Portland Harbor. 

(July 2014)
Driving Cleaner: More Electric Vehicles Mean Less Pollution

Increasing the use of electric vehicles – especially those powered by clean, renewable sources of electricity – can protect the climate and help America get off oil. Driving Cleaner estimates that in 2025, widespread use of electric vehicles, coupled with a cleaner electricity grid, could reduce global warming pollution by 18.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, compared to conventional vehicles. Federal and state governments can realize these emission reductions by committing to policies that will increase the number of electric vehicles on the road; speed the growth of clean, renewable electricity; and curtail the use of dirty electricity sources.

(June 2014)
Wasting Our Waterways: Toxic Industrial Pollution and Restoring the Promise of the Clean Water Act

More than 40 years after passage of the Clean Water Act, industrial polluters continue to release more than 206 million pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s waterways each year. Wasting Our Waterways quantifies the amount of industrial pollution released into individual rivers, lakes and other waterways nationwide, names the states and waterways with the greatest releases of chemicals linked to environmental toxicity and human health problems, and issues a call to action to restore the promise of the federal Clean Water Act.

(June 2014)
Credit Cards, Consumer Complaints: The CFPB's Consumer Complaint Database Gets Real Results for Credit Card Holders

Despite the benefits to consumers brought by enactment of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (Credit CARD) Act of 2009, consumer complaints about credit cards remain common. Credit Cards, Consumer Complaints examines the more than 25,000 complaints Americans filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about credit cards between November 2011 and September 2013 to identify the companies receiving the most complaints and the most frequent problems consumers are experiencing in the credit card marketplace.

(March 2014)
Shining Cities: At the Forefront of America's Solar Energy Revolution

Solar power is on the rise across America—increasing 200-fold in the United States since 2002—and major cities are helping to lead this clean energy revolution. Shining Cities: At the Forefront of America’s Solar Energy Revolution shows that cities from every region of the U.S. are driving solar development with strong public policies – reaping important benefits for the environment, public health, and the economy. By building local solar power, cities can keep more of their energy budget at home and create good local jobs.

(April 2014)