The U.S. Department of Agriculture could potentially spend part of its budget for water quality improvements seven to 12 times more cost effectively than it does now. A new WRI analysis shows how, explains why USDA isn’t already doing so, and proposes ways to make a complex policy a reality.
For more than 30 years, the USDA has worked to reduce water pollution by offering farmers throughout the nation financial and technical help to put conservation measures in place. While these efforts have successfully addressed environmental problems at the individual farm level—such as soil erosion—agriculture remains a key source of water pollution.
However, it’s only a small portion of farms that generate the majority of agriculture’s contribution to U.S. water pollution. New research shows that targeting conservation funds to these farms with the most potential to reduce pollution could be up to 12 times more cost effective than the usual practice of disbursing funds widely. And encouragingly, a new USDA program aims to capitalize on a similar targeted approach.
A National Modeling Analysis on Increasing Cost Effectiveness Through Better Targeting of U.S. Farm Conservation Funds
In this second installment of our 3-part series on better targeting of U.S. farm conservation funds, WRI found that combining geographic targeting with benefit-cost principles could potentially yield seven to 12 times...
To this day, carbon pollution—the main driver of climate change—has not been controlled from power plants.
That’s why the U.S. EPA’s new rules are so momentous, putting federal limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants for the first time. With the power sector representing a third of America’s carbon footprint, these rules are the biggest single action the administration can take to drive down greenhouse gases.
On June 2, President Obama will unveil the latest—and likely greatest—emissions reduction policy since he announced his Climate Action Plan last year: new rules to limit carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants. With power plants accounting for around one-third of U.S. emissions, these rules will address the country’s single-largest source of greenhouse gas pollution.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions on what these standards are designed to achieve, the impact they will have, and why they’re so important. This blog highlights some of the most important aspects of these crucial actions.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will soon unveil its first-ever emissions standards for existing power plants. These rules represent the most significant component of the U.S. Climate Action Plan—and moreover, they’re an essential step for overcoming the climate change challenge.
President Obama announced the first-ever National Climate Plan for the United States in June 2013. Under the plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will set carbon pollution...
President Obama announced the first-ever National Climate Plan for the United States in June 2013. Under the plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will set carbon pollution standards for power plants. In September 2013, EPA introduced emissions standards for new power plants and...
In an article originally published in Tampa Bay Times, Lee Thomas discusses the effects of climate change in Florida, and the need for state-level action.