Americans Embrace Clean Energy Transition Amid Mounting Wildfire Smoke and Extreme Heat Weather

Washington, D.C.  — Tens of millions of Americans face yet another summer of extreme weather, including heat waves in the Southwest and dangerously polluted air due to unprecedented wildfires across Canada. Meanwhile, Americans are embracing the clean energy solutions that are creating good-paying manufacturing jobs, reducing energy costs, and helping to mitigate the impacts of these climate disasters.

Unprecedented Canadian wildfires blanketing U.S. in dangerous air pollution, breaking emissions records. To make matters worse, rising temperatures bring a greater risk of wildfire, which have impacted 120 million Americans in the Midwest and East Coast. 

  • Historic warm temperatures and dry conditions have been identified as exacerbating Canadian wildfires
  • The fires have burned nearly 19.2 million acres and the smoke has impacted nearly a third of Americans, who are breathing in hazardous air due to far-reaching smoke.
  • This week, Chicago and D.C. were among the cities with the worst air quality in the world as a result of toxic particles from wildfire smoke.
  • The burning of fossil fuels has exacerbated rising temperatures and poor air quality.
  • This week in Chicago and Detroit, the air quality index reached unprecedented hazardous readings, resulting in concern from public health officials regarding the effects of toxic air.

Clean energy like wind and solar are proving to be resilient amidst disastrous heatwaves, keeping the air conditioning on in Texas amid record heat, proving yet again how unreliable fossil fuels are during climate disasters. 

  • Reliable power is critical as the Texas heat wave spreads east, putting 100 million Americans under extreme heat warnings and advisories.
  • Forecasters cite an abnormally dangerous element of this heat wave – which has resulted in 13 deaths – rising night time temperatures.
  • Solar provided the Texas power grid with nearly 20% of its energy as the electricity demand set an 81,000 MW record on Tuesday.
  • With temperatures expected to climb to 20 degrees above average through the weekend – new clean energy installations are essential for maintaining grid reliability. 

Now, more than ever, a clean energy future is essential to protecting access to power and clean air in the face of extreme weather and other climate disasters.