Acid Rain in New England
While we have made progress in reducing the acidity of rainfall, and are beginning to see positive effects in our environment, it is not yet possible to declare victory. We still must continue to reduce our emissions of atmospheric pollutants. Clean fuels, renewable energy and increased efficiency are important ways to reduce our dependance on coal and oil as a source of energy.
Fuels such as natural gas and wood chips emit fewer acid rain causing pollutants per unit of electricity. By converting some of our existing plants to run on these fuels, and building new facilities that can replace some of our older, less efficient plants, we can generate electricity with fewer emissions.
Renewable energy sources such as wind, hydroelectric, and solar are contributing to cleaner air in New England and slowing the region’s increase in fossil fuel consumption. Some states are calling for increasing amounts of electricity from renewable resources. Wind power, in particular, has become a more important source of electricity due to the fact that its costs are now similar to that of traditional fossil fuel resources.
Conservation programs such as EPA's Energy Star, Green Buildings, and the New England Community Energy Challenge will help us reduce the demand for electricity. ENERGY STAR identifies products that are more energy efficient. Green Buildings encourages the planning and construction of more energy efficient buildings. Recently, in New England, EPA launched the New England Community Energy Challenge, a municipal energy efficiency program. For more information on these programs, please visit their websites. Programs such as these enable us to get the maximum benefit from the electricity we must generate.
Cleaner fuels, renewable sources of energy, and conservation programs will help us conserve energy. The result will be a cleaner environment, and this will benefit all of the inhabitants of the Earth.