Our Research

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A Blueprint for Action: Policy Options to Reduce Illinois' Contribution to Global Warming

Global warming poses a serious threat to Illinois’ future. Significant action is needed if Illinois is going to do its share to prevent the worst impacts of global warming. A Blueprint for Action describes 13 policy steps that, if taken, would reduce the state’s global warming emissions by 31 percent below projected levels by 2018.

(January 2007)
The Politics of Rocket Fuel Pollution: The Perchlorate Study Group and Its Industry Backers

California state agencies have discovered perchlorate—the main ingredient in solid rocket fuel—contaminating almost 400 water sources since 1997, including the Colorado River and hundreds of municipal wells. In 1992 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took the first steps toward requiring cleanup of perchlorate from drinking water. In response, a group of manufacturers and users of rocket fuel joined to form the Perchlorate Study Group with the stated intention of helping EPA by providing scientific information. However, documents from the internal files of participants in the Perchlorate Study Group reveal that, much like the tobacco industry, these companies paid millions of dollars to fund misleading research and millions more to influence the scientific and public debate, aiming to weaken regulations and reduce liability.

(December 2006)
Cars and Cancer: Toxic Pollution from Cars and Trucks in Maryland

Despite modest improvements in Maryland’s air quality over the last several decades, the cancer risk from air toxics is still 40 times higher for Marylanders than the federal standard. Data published in 2006 by the EPA shows that two-thirds of the cancer risk comes from mobile sources such as cars and trucks. Cars and Cancer highlights the cancer risk by Maryland counties and recommends adoption of tougher car emission standards as part of the solution to the problem.

(December 2006)
The Road to a New Energy Future: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies for a Cleaner, More Secure Energy Future

America doesn’t have to wait for revolutionary new technologies to get serious about addressing our nation’s energy crisis. The technology exists today to use energy far more efficiently in our cars, homes, and businesses and to get more of our energy from clean, renewable sources. The Road to a New Energy Future, a companion paper to A New Energy Future (Fall 2006), profiles the many technologies and practices that can help America achieve a cleaner energy future. It also describes the critical role of research and development in producing the next wave of clean energy technologies.

(October 2006)
Our Natural Heritage at Risk: Threats Facing Seven of Maryland's Most Special Places

The failure to fund Maryland’s successful land conservation programs over the last few years has scaled back preservation efforts and threatened the state's unspoiled farms and forests and the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Our Natural Heritage at Risk identifies seven locations around Maryland that are threatened by development, including Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Annapolis Neck, and Patuxent River Rural Legacy Area.

(September 2006)