Pollution from agribusiness is responsible for some of America’s most intractable water quality problems – including the “dead zones” in the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Erie, and the pollution of countless streams and lakes with nutrients, bacteria, sediment and pesticides.
Today’s agribusiness practices – from the concentration of thousands of animals and their waste in small feedlots to the massive planting of chemical-intensive crops such as corn – make water pollution from agribusiness both much more likely and much more dangerous.
The shift to such industrial practices is no accident. It is largely the result of decisions made in the boardrooms of some of the world’s largest corporations. Major agribusiness firms are responsible for the degradation of many American waterways, and they must change practices throughout their supply chains to clean up the mess.
World leaders made a bold commitment at the 2015 Paris climate talks to limit global warming to 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with an aspiration to limit temperature rise to 1.5° Celsius. Fulfilling that promise will require the United States to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases starting now, with reductions exceeding 80 percent by mid-century. America’s transportation system produces more greenhouse gas pollution than any entire nation in the world other than China, India and Russia. Reducing pollution from transportation in the U.S. is essential to prevent the worst impacts of global warming.
America has made progress in cutting pollution from cars and trucks over the last decade as a result of improved vehicle fuel economy and slower growth in driving. But eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from our urban transportation systems is going to require more than incremental change – it will require transformation.
The combination of two technologies— hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drill- ing—has enabled the oil and gas industry to engage in an e ort to unlock oil and gas in under- ground rock forma ons across the United States. “Fracking,” however, has also led to tremendous environmental harm and put the health and safety of communities across the country at risk.
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