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National Environmental Policy Act - Research Paper Example

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Running head: National Environmental Policy Act National Environmental Policy Act (name) (school) (date) National Environmental Policy Act Introduction Global warming. This seems to be an issue which is dominating the current environmental and social discussions on policies…
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National Environmental Policy Act
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Download file to see previous pages The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was first passed in 1969, and it is one of the first laws ever written which establishes an encompassing national framework in the protection of the environment. It basically seeks to ensure that all agencies of the government give adequate consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any significant federal action which may affect the environment. This paper shall identity the most significant challenges facing the United States and/or the international community in resolving, identifying and/or dealing with this policy or issue or both. It shall identify and explain two different perspectives that contribute our understanding of the select issues. This paper shall define this issue/policy supported by research and analyses. Discussion There are various challenges which the United States and the international community are facing in relation to environmental policies and issues. When the Industrial Revolution hit its stride, the Earth’s climate and environment started undergoing changes; these changes were mostly seen in the agricultural and industrial practices (Berkeley University, 2004). Due to the increase in population and fossil fuel use seen through burning, toxic emissions, vehicle emissions, and deforestation, various gases have been introduced into our air which are harmful to living things, including human life. These gases are introduced into the atmosphere mostly as a result of human activity, activities which produce high levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide (greenhouse gases or GHGs). These are heavy gases and do not interact well with our ozone layer. As a result, our ozone layer is being slowly depleted (Berkeley University, 2004). This is unfortunate because the ozone layer shields us from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. These greenhouse gases also cause the greenhouse effect where these gases trap the heat in the atmosphere and cause higher earth temperature levels, otherwise known as global warming. The US environmental issues largely stem from its energy use. The US remains to be the largest energy consumer in the world and also the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide (Berkeley University, 2004). Motor vehicles are the main sources of carbon emissions in the US and in recent years, shifts of use from cars to larger vehicles have assisted in reducing carbon emissions. In 2001, the US consumed about 24% of the world’s main energy consumption. The US released about 1,883 million metric tons of carbon in 2001, and this is credited for 24% of the world’s carbon-related emissions (Berkeley University, 2004). In 2003, the US Department of Energy set forth its Climate Vision program which was meant to assist the President in reducing greenhouse gas intensity from 2002 to 2012. This policy included different federal agencies coordinating with industrial leaders to minimize GHG emissions during the time period set. Bush also states that a $1.2 billion hydrogen fuel plan was aimed at establishing technologies which would produce, store and distribute hydrogen as a fuel during transport (Berkeley University, 2004). The FreedomCAR (Cooperative Automotive Research) was also launched in an attempt to establish hydrogen fuel cell technology and advanced automotive technologies, including hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars. The US energy consumption will likely increase in the coming years and as a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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