Sustainable U

The way we live our lives is putting our environment and public health at risk.  Global warming, caused largely by our reliance on fossil fuels, threatens to wreak havoc on our climate and way of life.  Air pollution causes asthma and respiratory diseases.  Mining and drilling continually threaten our oceans, waterways and landscapes.  Trash pollutes our water and uses valuable land.  

Fortunately, we both have solutions to these problems and have a long track record of being able to solve other environmental problems.  While we don't have every solution we'll ever need to stop global warming, stop trashing our communities and stop destroying our forests, we have a lot of them right now.  We can make plug-in hybrids that get more than 100 miles to the gallon and electric cars that use no gas.  We can harness the power of the sun and wind across the country to get our power without the dangers of oil and gas drilling or the destruction of coal mining.  And, we can make homes that are so efficient in how they use energy that they can produce everything they need on site.  We can also re-use, re-cycle, compost or simply avoid using most of the trash that's being thrown in landfills, incinerated or floating away into the trash island by simply changing the way we create products and handle them after their first use. 

Simply put, we have the resources and technology to solve nearly all of these problems and the ingenuity to figure out the solutions to the rest.  We simply need to build the political will to put these solutions into action across the country.  The polluting industries that cause these problems both have a ton of influence in Washington and in the states and have been doing everything they can to convince the country that a sustainable future isn't in the cards.  That leaves us in a situation where our neighbors think solving environmental problems can only happen at the expense of economic progress and our political leaders are unwilling to act.   

Issue updates

Blog Post | Energy, Sustainability

Take action today to stop the mining industry's misleading radio ads | Student PIRGs

Last week the EPA made a historic announcement setting the first-ever federal limits for carbon pollution from the single largest source: power plants. This is a huge step forward our country is taking to combat global warming, and we’re excited to make sure this happens.

Groups like the National Mining Association are not as thrilled. In fact, they’ve already started fear mongering about EPA’s proposal to limit carbon pollution from power plants.

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Media Hit | Energy, Sustainability

EPA now accepting public comments about proposed coal regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency is now accepting written comments concerning their proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants until March 10. The new standards would end construction of any new coal-fired power plants in the U.S.

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Blog Post | Energy, Sustainability

Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Should Flunk the Climate Test | Student PIRGs

Today, the State Department released an environmental impact statement on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport tar sands from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

Just this week, President Obama reiterated his commitment to tackling global warming. Secretary of State John Kerry has been a leader in the movement to stop global warming. We call on both of these leaders to protect Americans now and in the future, and just say no to the Keystone XL pipeline and to tar sands oil.

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Media Hit | Sustainability, Waste

Maryland PIRG to deliver petitions for 5-cent bottle deposit

Maryland PIRG is delivering petitions urging Gov. Martin O'Malley to support a measure to create a 5-cent redeemable bottle deposit.

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Media Hit | Energy, Sustainability

CalPIRG petitions against Keystone pipeline

Ten members of the UC Berkeley chapter of CalPIRG rallied in front of Sather Gate Thursday against the construction of a controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.

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