Our Research

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Beyond Oil: The Transportation Fuels That Can Help Reduce Global Warming

The growing threat of global warming, air and water pollution, and rising energy costs are a few of the many problems that result from our current over-reliance on petroleum-based transportation fuels. Alternative transportation fuels, in conjunction with an array of other energy-related strategies, have the potential to help mitigate these problems—if public policy prioritizes those fuels that can deliver the greatest benefit for the environment and the American people.

(July 2008)
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)

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