Reports on Energy

The reports below represent a sample of Frontier Group’s work on Energy. For more of our reports on this and related topics, please visit Full archive coming soon.

The Spreading Shadow of the Shale Gas Boom: Fracking's Growing Proximity to Day Cares, Schools and Hospitals

Using “fracking,” gas companies are drilling near our communities, polluting our air and water and risking the health of our children and other vulnerable populations. Gas companies have already drilled and fractured more than 10,000 wells in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, which extend beneath much of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, West Virginia and western Maryland, and states are issuing permits for thousands more. The Spreading Shadow of the Shale Gas Boom documents that, in this five-state region, permitted well sites exist within one mile of more than 400 day care facilities, schools and hospitals.

(September 2013)
Lighting the Way: What We Can Learn from America's Top 12 Solar States

Solar energy is on the rise. America has more than 10 times as much solar photovoltaic capacity as in 2007. The price of solar energy is falling rapidly, and each year tens of thousands of additional Americans begin to reap the benefits of clean energy from the sun. America’s solar energy revolution has been led by 12 states – the “Dazzling Dozen” – that have used public policies to open the door for solar energy and are reaping the rewards as a result. Lighting the Way documents America's tremendous recent growth in solar power and argues that the pathway to solar energy growth followed by America's top solar states is open to any state that wishes to follow.

(July 2013)
Who Pays the Costs of Fracking?: Weak Bonding Rules for Oil and Gas Drilling Leave the Public at Risk

“Fracking” operations pose a staggering array of threats to our environment and health – many of them with significant “dollars and cents” costs. Current federal and state laws are supposed to hold drillers accountable for cleaning up well sites and compensating those who might be harmed by drilling activity, but are wholly inadequate to protect the public. Who Pays the Costs of Fracking? documents the current state of financial assurance rules for oil and gas drilling and lays out a policy roadmap for ensuring that the oil and gas industry bears the full cost of the damage it inflicts on the environment and public health.

(July 2013)
A Million Solar Roofs for Colorado: A Big, Bold Plan to Protect Our Environment and Grow Our Economy

As one of the sunniest states in the country, Colorado has great potential for solar energy. By 2030, Colorado could install solar energy capacity equivalent to that of a million solar rooftops – reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, addressing global warming and boosting our economy.

(June 2013)
Solar Works for Washington: How Expanding Solar Power Will Protect Our Environment and Benefit Our Economy

Washington’s strong clean energy policies have made it a national leader in wind energy and in energy efficiency. However, the state’s potential for solar power remains virtually untapped. Washington can start taking advantage of its full potential for solar energy by developing its capacity for rooftop solar power. 

(April 2013)
Ohio's Clean Energy Success Story: The Clean Energy Law Three Years In

Ohio’s Clean Energy Law is delivering on its promise of improved energy efficiency and increased production of clean, renewable electricity—reducing Ohio’s dependence on coal and natural gas power plants, which harm public health and the state’s environment. Ohio's Clean Energy Success Story tells of the progress the state's four major utilities have made toward meeting the requirements of the law and the benefits that have accrued for Ohio residents.

(March 2013)
Reaching for the Sun: How San Antonio and Austin Are Showing that Solar Is a Powerful Energy Option for Texas

Texas has the nation’s greatest potential for solar energy, yet with the exception of Austin and San Antonio, it has not invested much in solar energy generation. The electric utilities in San Antonio and Austin have installed four times more solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity than the rest of Texas combined. Reaching for the Sun shows how solar policies adopted by these cities and their municipal utilities provide a strong example for how the rest of Texas can reach its solar energy potential.

(February 2013)
Wind Power for a Cleaner America: Reducing Global Warming Pollution, Cutting Air Pollution, and Saving Water

Coal- and natural gas-fired power plants pollute our air, are major contributors to global warming, and consume vast amounts of water—harming our rivers and lakes and leaving less water for other uses. Wind energy has none of these problems. It produces no air pollution, makes no contribution to global warming, and uses no water. Wind Power for a Cleaner America documents the environmental benefits that have accrued from America's doubling its use of wind power since the beginning of 2008.

(November 2012)
Alternatives to Oil in the Northeast: How Innovators Are Producing Clean, Local Fuels

Dependence on oil harms the Northeast’s environment and economy. Alternatives to Oil in the Northeast highlights the work of innovators and entrepreneurs who are working to develop the fuels of the future: clean alternatives to oil that are less polluting and can be produced right here in the region. Those efforts can only take root and grow if Northeastern states make a firm policy commitment to integrating clean alternative fuels into our transportation fuel mix.

(November 2012)
The Costs of Fracking: The Price Tag of Dirty Drilling's Environmental Damage

The negative environmental and health impacts of fracking for oil and gas come with  heavy “dollars and cents” costs,  ranging from cleaning up contaminated water to repairing ruined roads. The experience of previous fossil fuel booms suggests that many of these costs will wind up being borne by the public. The Costs of Fracking highlights the many ways in which oil and gas production using hydraulic fracturing affects the environment, public health and our communities, and calls for steps to ensure that the oil and gas industry is held financially accountable for the damage it causes.

(September 2012)
Solar Works for Oregon: The Vast Potential of Solar Power to Protect Our Environment and Create Jobs

Oregon has vast untapped potential for solar energy. This report shows that solar power can supply 10 percent of Oregon’s electricity and reduce its energy use for water heating by 6 percent by 2025. Taking advantage of the state’s solar energy potential would reduce Oregon’s contribution to global warming and protect its environment. More solar power would also create jobs and boost manufacturing in Oregon. Putting policies in place to accelerate the growth of the solar energy market will allow Oregon to start reaping these benefits immediately.

(July 2012)
Massachusetts' Solar Leaders: The Cities and Towns at the Forefront of the Clean Energy Revolution

Massachusetts has leapt to the forefront of the rising solar energy economy. Since 2007, solar energy in Massachusetts has grown 30-fold – from less than 4 megawatts of solar panels to more than 110 megawatts. Massachusetts’ emerging solar leadership is the result of strong public policies designed to make it easier for Bay Staters to “go solar." Massachusetts' Solar Leaders highlights the cities and towns that are leading the Commonwealth in solar photovoltaic installations and showing the way toward a clean energy future.

(July 2012)
Charging Forward: The Emergence of Electric Vehicles and Their Role in Reducing Oil Consumption

America’s reliance on gasoline-powered vehicles has long contributed to air pollution, including global warming emissions, and our nation’s dependence on oil. In the past decade, however, the automobile market has begun to change, integrating new technologies that are dramatically less dependent on gasoline. Hybrid electric vehicles, powered in part by energy stored in a battery, have become increasingly popular. Charging Forward explains how electric vehicles, with zero direct emissions, are emerging as a market-viable alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles.

(July 2012)
What Offshore Wind Means for Maryland: Environmental, Economic and Public Health Benefits Across the State

Maryland has abundant potential for generating electricity from wind by deploying offshore wind farms. What Offshore Wind Means for Maryland explains how investing in offshore wind would provide cleaner air and foster a more vibrant economy for all regions of Maryland, while helping to protect healthy ecosystems for future generations of Marylanders.

(March 2012)
Fukushima: One Year Later

The Fukushima Daiichi disaster raised fresh concerns about the safety of America’s nuclear power plants and the wisdom of building new nuclear power plants in the United States. One year after the deadly earthquake and tsunami that spawned the meltdowns at Fukushima, new information continues to emerge about the events that took place at Fukushima and the implications for the people of Japan and the future of nuclear power. Fukushima: One Year Later provides an update on the situation at Fukushima on the first anniversary of the disaster.

(March 2012)