Our Research

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Powering Maryland’s Future: How Clean Energy Outperforms Nuclear Power in Delivering a Reliable, Safe and Affordable Supply of Electricity

Constellation Energy has announced plans to build a third nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs, which the company says could provide a large amount of electricity with little global warming or health-threatening pollution, at less cost than natural gas. Others advocate that Maryland follow a “clean energy” path that uses improvements in energy efficiency and new sources of renewable energy to address the state’s electricity challenges. Powering Maryland’s Future compares the two pathways and shows that by any measure—reliability, cost, safety, environmental impact, or support for a growing Maryland economy—clean energy is likely to outperform a nuclear-based strategy for powering Maryland’s future.

(July 2008)
Global Warming Solutions that Work: Cutting-Edge Efforts to Curb Global Warming Pollution and the Lessons they Hold for America

The latest climate science suggests that the United States must make deep cuts in its emissions of global warming pollution – on the order of 80 percent by 2050 – if we hope to prevent the worst consequences of global warming. Achieving that target will be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Global Warming Solutions that Work tells the story of cutting-edge efforts throughout the United States and around the world that are cutting global warming pollution and can serve as models for further action.

(June 2008)
Diagnosing the High Cost of Health Care: How Spending on Unnecessary Treatments, Administrative Waste, and Overpriced Drugs Inflates the Cost of Health Care in California

California spends billions of health care dollars on unnecessary treatments and services, administrative waste, and overpriced, sometimes harmful, medications. Researchers, pundits and health care professionals have suggested possible causes for rising health care costs, from the cost of caring for an aging population to the price of malpractice insurance. These factors play a very small role in the cost of health care, and addressing them would not change the price of care. Nor would imposing “cost containment” or rationing of care be an acceptable solution. Rather, it requires reducing health care spending that fails to improve patient health. This report focuses on three major categories of unproductive spending: overuse of invasive treatments, intensive services, and hospitalization; excessive administrative costs; and prescription drug marketing that encourages the use of more drugs, more expensive drugs, and drugs with a less established record of safety.

(June 2008)
Toxic Baby Furniture: The Latest Case for Making Products Safe from the Start

Furnishings containing formaldehyde – a toxic chemical linked with allergies, asthma and cancer – can contaminate indoor air. Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to harm. To evaluate the potential dangers children face, Environment California Research & Policy Center tested 21 products intended for use in a baby’s nursery, and found that six of the products produced high levels of formaldehyde vapor. In particular, several brands of cribs and changing tables emit formaldehyde at levels linked with increased risk of developing allergies or asthma.

(May 2008)
Putting the Brakes on Global Warming: How the Clean Cars Program Will Reduce Global Warming Pollution in North Carolina

North Carolina could limit its contribution to global warming over the next 15 years by implementing policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from cars and light trucks. Carbon dioxide pollution from cars and light trucks in North Carolina could increase by 12 percent from 2005 to 2020 unless action is taken to reduce emissions. Putting the Brakes on Global Warming finds that by implementing the Clean Cars Program as soon as possible, North Carolina could reduce carbon dioxide pollution from cars and light trucks by 10 percent below the levels that would be achieved under the recently improved federal fuel economy standards by 2020.

(May 2008)