American Policies

Despite three decades of "clean air" legislation in the United States, air pollution continues to pose a serious threat to ecosystem health. In 2001, the U.S. electric utility industry was responsible for approximately 72 percent of the nation's sulfur dioxide emissions; 40 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions; one third of particulate matter emissions; one fourth of mercury emissions; and almost one half of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.

Technology efficiency practices such as renewable energy systems and small-scale distributed generation technologies would present policy makers a superior alternative for curbing electricity demand, minimizing the risk of fuel interruptions and shortages, helping improve the transmission network, and environmental harm.