Last updated on: 3/3/2009 | Author:

Natural Resources Defense Council Biography

Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Can Alternative Energy Effectively Replace Fossil Fuels?"

“From suburban New Jersey to urban Los Angeles, millions of Americans are powering their homes with clean electricity that doesn’t produce any air or global warming pollution. They are filling their gas tanks with fuels that do not increase our dependence on foreign oil or endanger our national security. How do they do it? It’s simple; they tap America’s renewable energy resources.

A few decades ago, only back-to-the-land types made serious use of solar panels and windmills, but today renewables have gone mainstream. The latest technology has brought the price of renewables down dramatically, making them more cost-competitive. Demand is booming – large utilities, municipal power companies and suburban developments are seeing the value in wind, biomass and solar power.

Wind power is the fastest growing form of electricity generation in the United States, expanding at an average annual rate of more than 20 percent. Solar energy employs more than 20,000 Americans in high-tech, high-paying jobs. Ethanol producers make 4 billion gallons of fuel a year, equal to 2 percent of our national gasoline use.

This market growth – and all of the environmental benefits that come with it – have given clean energy political muscle. Nearly 20 states have passed renewable portfolio standards that require utilities to generate a percentage of electricity from clean energy resources. Now supporters are pressing for a national standard that would require 20 percent of the country’s electricity to come from renewables. “

“Wind, Solar and Biomass Energy Today,” (accessed Mar. 3, 2009)


“NRDC is the nation’s most effective environmental action organization. We use law, science and the support of 1.2 million members and online activists to protect the planet’s wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things.

Worth Magazine has named NRDC one of America’s 100 best charities, and the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau reports that NRDC meets its highest standards for accountability and use of donor funds.

NRDC was founded in 1970 by a group of law students and attorneys at the forefront of the environmental movement. NRDC lawyers helped write some of America’s bedrock environmental laws. Today, our staff of more than 300 lawyers, scientists and policy experts – a MacArthur “genius” award-winner among them – work out of offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.

The New York Times calls us ‘One of the nation’s most powerful environmental groups.’ The National Journal says we’re ‘A credible and forceful advocate for stringent environmental protection.’

With the support of our members and online activists, NRDC works to solve the most pressing environmental issues we face today: curbing global warming, getting toxic chemicals out of the environment, moving America beyond oil, reviving our oceans, saving wildlife and wild places, and helping China go green.”

“About NRDC: Who We Are,” (accessed Oct. 2, 2008)


“The Natural Resources Defense Council’s purpose is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends.

We work to restore the integrity of the elements that sustain life – air, land and water – and to defend endangered natural places.

We seek to establish sustainability and good stewardship of the Earth as central ethical imperatives of human society. NRDC affirms the integral place of human beings in the environment.

We strive to protect nature in ways that advance the long-term welfare of present and future generations.

We work to foster the fundamental right of all people to have a voice in decisions that affect their environment. We seek to break down the pattern of disproportionate environmental burdens borne by people of color and others who face social or economic inequities. Ultimately, NRDC strives to help create a new way of life for humankind, one that can be sustained indefinitely without fouling or depleting the resources that support all life on Earth.”

“About NRDC: Mission Statement,” (accessed Oct. 2, 2008)

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Quoted in:
  1. Will the Development of Biofuels, Such as Ethanol, Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
  2. Will Increased Oil Drilling Help the US Solve Its Energy Crisis?
  3. Is Solar Power Production Environmentally Friendly?
  4. Should the US Increase Its Use of Natural Gas?
  5. Is Large-Scale Wind Power Production Environmentally Friendly?
  6. Will the Development of Biofuels, Such as Ethanol, Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
  7. Is Wind Power an Economical Alternative to Conventional Energy?
  8. What Are Alternative Energies?
  9. Should the United States Authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline to Import Tar Sand Oil from Canada?