Our Research

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Connecticut Responds to Global Warming: An Analysis of Connecticut's Emission Reduction Goals, Current Strategies, and Opportunities for Progress

In 2001, the governors of the six New England states made an historic commitment to reduce their region’s emissions of global warming pollution. Connecticut Responds to Global Warming documents how Connecticut could make major strides toward reducing emissions of global warming gases over the next several decades by adopting a series of policy strategies to improve energy efficiency and reduce the use of fossil fuels.

(March 2004)
Undermining Democracy:: Michigan's Failure to Limit Contributions to PACs

Michigan’s campaign finance laws allow citizens to make large donations to individual candidates and unlimited contributions to political action committees (PACs), undermining the ability of ordinary citizens to be heard in the political process. The absence of limits on giving to PACs distorts what should be a tool through which ordinary citizens can aggregate their political power into just another route for wealthy citizens to use money to influence elections. An analysis of data from the 2002 election cycle shows that some Michigan PACs are dominated by a few wealthy individuals who made contributions far greater than those feasible for citizens of average means.

(February 2004)
Financial Privacy In The States: How Consumers Benefit From Personal Information Safeguards

Federal regulation riddled with loopholes has left large bank conglomerates and other financial institutions with too much leeway to share consumers’ private information and too little responsibility for the consequences. Financial Privacy in the States documents the growing concerns that Americans have about financial privacy, presents a survey of state laws that have helped fill regulatory gaps in the financial privacy sphere, and provides an estimate of the economic burden consumers currently bear as a result of inadequate privacy safeguards.

(February 2004)
Phosphorus Pollution in Florida's Waters: The Need for Aggressive Action to Protect Florida's Rivers and Streams from Nutrient Runoff

The excess flow of nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, into Florida’s waterways has led to serious water quality problems—ranging from dramatic changes in the distribution of plant species in parts of the Everglades to algae blooms and fish kills in waterways such as Lake Apopka and Lake Okeechobee. But while Florida has made progress against nutrient pollution in some specific cases, the state’s overall response has been insufficient to ensure the cleanup of already polluted waterways and the prevention of future nutrient pollution problems. 

(December 2004)
Predictably Unpredictable: Volatility in Future Energy Supply and Price from Over-Dependence on Natural Gas

In response to the 2000-2001 energy crisis on the West Coast, Washington state policy makers rushed to approve and encourage the construction of as many natural gas power plants as possible. Demand for natural gas across the country is skyrocketing, and domestic supplies are tight. Predictably Unpredictable explains how Washington is setting itself up for an energy crisis by relying so heavily on one fuel source, and recommends tapping the vast in-state potential for renewable energy instead.

(September 2003)