Global warming is happening now and its effects are being felt in the United States and around the world. Among the expected consequences of global warming is an increase in the heaviest rain and snow storms, fueled by increased evaporation and the ability of a warmer atmosphere to hold more moisture.
Extreme downpours are now happening 25 percent more often in Colorado and 30 percent more often nationwide than in 1948. In other words, large rain or snowstorms that happened once every 12 months, on average, in the middle of the 20th century now happen every nine to ten months in Colorado and across the country.
House Bill 07-1037, passed by the legislature in 2007, directed the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to establish energy savings goals for investor-owned electric and gas utilities. The bill also directed the PUC to provide utilities with the opportunity to earn a profit from implementing cost-effective energy efficiency programs for their customers.
As summer approaches, the dangers of our continued dependence on oil are apparent everywhere we look. In 2012, we have already experienced the hottest average temperatures ever recorded through April in the United States. At the same time, increasing evidence is still coming forth of long-lasting harm from the BP oil spill, and other tragic spills have occurred in waterways throughout the country since.
Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year—threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pollution from industrial facilities is responsible for threatening or fouling water quality in more than 14,000 miles of rivers and streams, more than 220,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide.
We can save money and help solve global warming by reducing the amount of energy we use, including in the buildings where we live and work every day. More than 40 percent of our energy — and 10 percent of all the energy used in the world — goes toward powering America’s buildings.
Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.