Our reliance on dirty energy is fueling global warming, harming our health, threatening our security and stalling our economy. Burning coal, oil and gas for energy and transportation is responsible for 80 percent of U.S. global warming pollution and most of our smog and soot pollution.
Across the country, Americans are hurting. From the big cities of the coasts to the industrial heartland to our rural communities, the slumping economy is taking its toll in shuttered businesses, disappearing jobs, bankruptcies, foreclosures and an increased sense of anxiety about our collective future.
Global warming is the defining challenge of our time. The latest climate science tells us that the United States must reduce its emissions of global warming pollutants quickly and dramatically if we hope to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of global warming. The rest of the world must take strong action as well.
America is the largest consumer of energy in the world. Almost half of the energy we use—10 percent of the energy in the world—powers our buildings. Most of this energy comes from burning fossil fuels. Our reliance on these fuels makes us vulnerable to supply disruptions, contributes to global warming and other environmental problems, and is becoming increasingly expensive.