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Energy

EWG is working toward an energy future in which clean, safe and economical sources such as solar and wind power replace dirty, dangerous and expensive coal and nuclear power. We're also investigating the use and disposal of hazardous chemicals in oil and gas drilling, toxic gasoline additives such as corn ethanol and MTBE, uranium mining on public lands, and the transport of nuclear waste through American cities.  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The recent Porter Ranch methane spill in Los Angeles County spewed about 66 tons of methane into the air every hour for four months. After the leak was finally sealed in February, scientists estimated it had discharged a total of 106,000 tons of methane into the air, making it the worst such leak in U.S. history.

 

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AgMag
Article
Thursday, March 17, 2016

Production of corn ethanol has led growers to plow up of millions of acres of prairie grassland and wetlands to plant more corn. By the Environmental Protection Agency’s own definition, this means that corn ethanol is not a renewable fuel.

 

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AgMag
Article
Thursday, January 28, 2016

The corn ethanol mandate requires refiners to blend more and more ethanol into gasoline. But there is already a “natural” marketplace demand for ethanol. If there were no mandate, gasoline refiners would still blend corn ethanol to boost octane and as an oxygenate to lower tailpipe pollutants.

 

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AgMag
Article
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Volkswagen could be fined up to $90 billion for violating the federal Clean Air Act by jerry-rigging diesel engines to burn cleaner on emissions tests. The added air pollution will cause up to 60 premature deaths of Americans a year. But there's a deadlier source of dirty air than VW diesels – one that's actually touted as reducing air pollution: corn ethanol.

 

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AgMag
Article
Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Some corn ethanol lobbyists are pushing to triple the amount of ethanol American fuel makers put into gasoline, moving from the current blend, called E10, or 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent corn ethanol to E30, which would be 70 percent gasoline and 30 percent corn ethanol. They argue that using more of their so-called renewable fuel would benefit the environment.

 

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AgMag
Article
Monday, January 11, 2016

The EWG staff voted the landmark global climate accord approved on December 12 in Paris as the top environmental story of 2015. In our judgment, the achievement of the Paris pact is that, for the first time, representatives of 196 nations – large and small, rich and poor, heavily industrial and rural – agreed in principle that they must reduce carbon emissions and that they will report on their progress every five years.

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News and Analysis
Article
Monday, January 11, 2016

As in past years, EWG asked its staff of scientists, policy analysts and governmental and communications specialists to vote on what they considered the 10 most important stories of 2015 in two categories: stories that relate specifically to agriculture and those that involve general environmental issues. The rest of the agriculture list is below. To see the staff’s ranking of general environmental stories, got to EWG’s Enviroblog.

 

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AgMag
Article
Wednesday, December 16, 2015

You may have seen the headlines yesterday claiming bacon is better for the environment than lettuce. Bacon cheeseburger lovers may have cheered the news, but a closer look shows the claim has more sizzle than substance. The study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University said if Americans followed federal dietary guidelines to eat more fruits and vegetables, farm energy use would go up 38 percent and the carbon emissions that cause global warming would rise by 6 percent.

 

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AgMag
Article
Monday, November 30, 2015

The Obama Administration’s unprecedented decision today, lowering the amount of corn ethanol that refiners must add to gasoline, misses an opportunity to go even further and pave the way for second-generation biofuels, EWG said today.

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News Release
Monday, November 30, 2015

Corn ethanol, once thought of as a way for the U.S. to cut carbon pollution, is conspicuously absent from the emissions reduction plan the White House submitted ahead of the global climate conference in Paris. The plan would reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 28 percent from 2005 levels, but it didn’t even mention corn ethanol, or the federal mandate known as the Renewable Fuel Standard.

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AgMag
Article
Friday, November 20, 2015

A study released today by the Renewable Fuels Association makes the bogus claim that the use of corn ethanol as a vehicle fuel reduced emissions by 240 million tons of carbon dioxide since 2008.

 

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AgMag
Article
Monday, November 16, 2015

The corn ethanol industry’s attacks on Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) over his efforts to reform federal biofuels policies are “completely outrageous and smack of desperation,” says Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president of government affairs, in a statement released today.

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News Release
Thursday, November 5, 2015

New television ads paid for by the corn lobby are touting ethanol as a way to lower gas prices, but common sense and the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office tell us just the opposite.

 

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AgMag
Article
Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Dirty corn ethanol was supposed to be a bridge to greener fuels, but 10 years after it was mandated, it’s looking like a bridge to nowhere.

 

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AgMag
Article
Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Compared to dirty corn ethanol, biofuels from next-generation feedstocks could greatly reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, according to a new report by EWG and University of California experts.

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News Release
Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Biofuels produced from switchgrass and post-harvest corn waste could significantly reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change, according to an analysis by EWG and University of California biofuels experts.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, October 16, 2015

The federal Renewable Fuel Standard is supposed to promote fuels that emit less global warming pollution than gasoline. But it’s done just the opposite, stimulating a boom in ethanol made from corn, which over its life cycle causes emissions of more climate-wrecking carbon than gasoline. Yet the Renewable Fuel Standard continues to encourage production of ethanol – and now the EPA’s internal watchdog wants to know why.

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AgMag
Article
Wednesday, September 23, 2015

If you’re looking for environmental heroes – and who isn’t – take a look at mine: Peter Mock, Europe managing director of the obscure but well-informed International Council on Clean Transportation, and John German, a senior fellow at the council.

 

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News and Analysis
Article
Friday, August 14, 2015

Although hydraulic fracturing for oil has gone on for decades in California and half a million Californians live within a mile of a fracked well, the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources hardly interfered with it until 2011. 

 

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The fluids used in hydraulic fracturing of oil wells in California contain dozens of chemicals that are hazardous to human health, including substances linked to cancer, reproductive harm and hormone disruption, an EWG analysis of state data shows.

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Reports & Consumer Guides

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