Environment & Energy

Our planet faces unprecedented environmental challenges, threatening ecosystems, species, coastal communities, and all too often, human life itself. Heading the list of threats is climate change, with its promise of drastic environmental, economic, and cultural upheaval. But we also face persistent problems of air and water pollution, toxic wastes, cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay and other Great Waters, and protecting natural resources and wildlife.

Central to the environmental health of the nation and the planet is decreasing our dependence on energy derived from burning fossil fuels. Our continued reliance on these sources is literally endangering the planet's ability to sustain life as we know it. Yet many policymakers, with the financial and rhetorical support of energy companies bent on making a profit at the cost of the planet's health, continue to resist desperately needed reforms. Read about CPR’s work protecting the environment in reports, testimony, op-eds and more. Use the search box to narrow the list.

New Report Finds Dangerous Nitrate Pollution in Maryland Drinking Water

Dangerous nitrate pollution has contaminated private drinking water wells and public water utilities in several regions across the United States, posing a significant threat to people's health. A new report from CPR indicates that this problem has reached Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore, an agricultural area that's home to hundreds of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and millions of chickens.

Type: News Releases (Oct. 21, 2020)
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Author(s): Brian Gumm
Tainted Tap: Nitrate Pollution, Factory Farms, and Drinking Water in Maryland and Beyond

CPR's close look at nitrate pollution in drinking water on Maryland's Eastern Shore raises serious safety concerns. According to county data in the region, tens of thousands of residents are drinking water with elevated nitrate levels, almost certainly due to animal waste from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) nearby. Moreover, the state's lax requirements for well water testing makes it impossible to know just how widespread the problem is.

Type: Reports (Oct. 21, 2020)
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Author(s): Katlyn Schmitt, Darya Minovi
Webinar: Environmental Justice and Public Health Implications of Extreme Weather and Toxic Chemicals

October 2020 Webinar: High-risk chemical facilities and other hazardous industrial sites are disproportionately located near communities where Black, Brown, and low-wealth families live, learn, and play. In 2012, floodwaters from Superstorm Sandy submerged some of these facilities, carrying chemicals and heavy metals into people’s homes. On October 20, 2020, CPR hosted a webinar featuring experts on the topic.

Type: Webinars (Oct. 20, 2020)
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Author(s): Rebecca Bratspies, Darya Minovi
Climate, Energy, Justice: The Policy Path to a Just Transition for an Energy-Hungry America

With the nation approaching a pivotal election, 19 CPR Member Scholars contributed to a series of white papers proposing policy solutions for a just transition from carbon-based energy to renewables, with a particular focus on the environmental justice implications.

Type: Reports (Oct. 14, 2020)
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Author(s): Shalanda H. Baker, William Buzbee, Alejandro Camacho, Daniel Farber, Robert Fischman, Victor Flatt, Robert Glicksman, Alice Kaswan, Alexandra Klass, Christine Klein, Sarah Krakoff, Joel Mintz, Uma Outka, Dave Owen, Dan Rohlf, Karen Sokol, Joseph Tomain, Hannah Wiseman, Sandra Zellmer
CPR Comments on DEQ Air Permit for Norfolk Naval Shipyard Power Plant

CPR analysts Darya Minovi and David Flores submitted a public comment on Virginia's draft air pollution permit for a proposed natural gas and diesel-burning power plant at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth. Citing CPR's Toxic Floodwaters study of the James River Watershed, the letter explores the risks of harm that the facility and others in the area pose to the low-income and minority fenceline communities already disproportionately burdened by industrial pollution.

Type: Letters to Agencies (Oct. 7, 2020)
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Author(s): Darya Minovi, David Flores
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Reflections and Remembrances

CPR's Member Scholars and staff reflect on the life and work of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Type: Reports (Oct. 2, 2020)
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Webinar: Protecting Communities and their Water Resources from Extreme Weather and Chemical Disaster

CPR's September 24, 2020, webinar focused on the ways climate impacts are compounding industrial disasters and impacting water resources around the nation. Toxic spills from industrial sites pollute waterways and threaten the safety of communities already burdened by pollution and the climate crisis. Participants discussed collaborative research and advocacy in Virginia and the Gulf Coast, as well as various analytical and regulatory tools for preventing climate-induced chemical disasters.

Type: Webinars (Sept. 24, 2020)
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Author(s): David Flores, Victor Flatt
How To Create Anti-Racist Energy Policies

Writing for WBUR, Shalanda Baker observes that "communities of color are disproportionately subsidizing an energy system that is killing them," and calls for a national policy to end utility shutoffs until we can effectively combat the coronavirus.

Type: Op-Eds (Sept. 23, 2020)
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Author(s): Shalanda H. Baker
Her Black Coffee Always Brewed Strong

CPR's Gillian Metzger, joins fellow Ruth Bader Ginsburg former clerk Abbe Gluck in a New York Times tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice.

Type: Op-Eds (Sept. 22, 2020)
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Author(s): Gillian Metzger
Pandemic Spawns Dangerous Relaxation of Environmental Regulations

Writing in The Revelator, Joel Mintz and Victor Flatt explain that the Trump EPA's eagerness to waive environmental regulations during the pandemic has taken a toll. And they set forth a prescription for fixing the problem.

Type: Op-Eds (Sept. 14, 2020)
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Author(s): Joel Mintz, Victor Flatt

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