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Peter Lehner
Peter Lehner is the Executive Director of NRDC and NRDC Action Fund. He is responsible for guiding NRDC’s policy positions, advocacy strategies, communications plans, development and administration, and managing NRDC’s seven offices and for leading the Action Fund’s political activities. NRDC is affiliated with the NRDC Action Fund, a separate organization from NRDC. The NRDC Action Fund’s mission is to achieve the passage of legislation that jump-starts the clean energy economy, reduces pollution, and sustains vibrant communities for all Americans. The current goal is a comprehensive clean energy policy that will repower our economy and fuel our future.

Entries by Peter Lehner

Protecting Workers and Communities During the Clean Energy Transition

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 7:58 PM

When I worked at the New York Attorney General's Office, we sued coal-fired power plants because their air pollution was making people sick. But in some towns, I saw that the reliance on coal really had people in a bind. The coal plant was making them sick, but it was...

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Top 5 Food Trends to Watch in 2015

(1) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 10:25 AM

Last year, the movement toward a cleaner, more sustainable food supply gained traction, from school lunches with antibiotic-free chicken to a new rating system for produce that goes beyond organics to take energy, water use, and other sustainability factors into account. This year could herald even more changes...

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China's New Tools to Battle Air Pollution Can Also Help Fight Climate Change

(2) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 1:26 PM

In preparation for hosting the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which will be attended by President Obama and other world leaders, Beijing's municipal government has announced a six-day public holiday for central and city government. It will order drivers to use their vehicles only on alternate days. In neighboring...

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The People's Climate March: Join Us on September 21 to Make History

(3) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 7:07 PM

An old friend recently got in touch to let me know he'll be joining me at the People's Climate March in New York City this weekend. He's coming from pretty far out of town, and he's not the type some people would consider a traditional climate activist. But he's making...

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8 Tips to Handle the Dog Days of Summer in a Warming Climate

(1) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 4:04 PM

As much as I'm looking forward to the long July 4th weekend, there are some things about this season I don't enjoy: the excessive heat, the smog, the bugs -- and sometimes when you head to the beach to cool off, there's a swim advisory.

These are the real...

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Four Inspirational Food Leaders Honored at Growing Green Awards

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 9:39 AM

Sometime in the mid-1990s,Will Harris looked around at the Georgia farm that had been in his family for more than a century, and decided he didn't want to pass it on to his daughters. Not like this. His herd was unhappy. He was under constant financial stress. His...

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10 American Cities Will Lead the Nation on Energy Efficiency

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 10:39 AM

In our cities, big buildings often run 24/7. Offices are continuously heated or cooled, elevators are running, lights, computers and equipment are on, continuously humming. Because they're constantly in operation -- you can't really unplug a building -- our buildings use enormous amounts of electricity, and are responsible for 40...

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Imported Seafood Comes With a Price: Dead Whales and Dolphins

(1) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 12:29 PM

On October 1, 2013, a female humpback whale washed up dead on a Long Island beach. Its 20-ton body, discovered by an early-morning surfer, bore signs of trauma. The cause of death, although it's being investigated by the federal government, is no great mystery. According to researchers on...

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New FEMA Study: Climate Change Will Greatly Increase Flood Risk, Debt

(2) Comments | Posted June 19, 2013 | 4:02 PM

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in a study finally released last week after five years in the making, predicted that areas at risk of flooding in the United States would increase 45 percent by 2100, largely because of climate change. That prediction is dire news, not just for...

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NYC's Climate Plan Shows Need to Curb Carbon

(4) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 4:30 PM

In announcing his plans for New York City to battle the inevitable effects of climate change, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has shown leadership where many local and national politicians have not. Although Superstorm Sandy was the spur to create the Special Initiative on Rebuilding and Resiliency, the mayor and his aides...

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We Must Act

(4) Comments | Posted February 13, 2013 | 1:12 PM

"But if Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will." --President Barack Obama, 2013 State of the Union

It is fitting that climate change featured prominently in the biggest political speech of the year. Our country is still absorbing the blow from 11 extreme weather events in 2012,...

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Fighting the Rising Costs of Climate Change

(16) Comments | Posted January 31, 2013 | 4:21 PM

By Peter Lehner & Cas Holloway

In acting this week to complete a $60-billion package of emergency aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy in the New York region, Congress came face-to-face with the rising costs that climate change is imposing on the nation.

The region badly needs the assistance, and...

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The Price of Coal in China

(20) Comments | Posted January 21, 2013 | 10:15 AM

On Jan. 12, an air pollution monitor atop the U.S. Embassy in Beijing rated the pollution index at a shocking 755 -- on a scale of 0 to 500. (The EPA categorizes pollution levels over 300 as "hazardous.") A TIME reporter wrote that the view from her 16th...

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3 Steps the FDA Can Take in 2013 to Show It Is Protecting Americans From Harm

(4) Comments | Posted January 17, 2013 | 1:23 PM

The Food and Drug Administration recently announced two sweeping programs for protecting Americans from contamination in our food. Every year tens of thousands of Americans get sick from the presence of Salmonella, E.coli, and other bacteria in the food we eat. These new programs will help prevent some...

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Voters Chose Leaders Who Will Confront Climate Change

(12) Comments | Posted November 9, 2012 | 9:49 AM

This election was a resounding victory for climate action. Americans were presented with the clearest choice yet on global warming, and they chose the presidential candidate who confronted the climate threat, not the one who turned it into a punch line. Voters made the same choice in Congressional races across...

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40 Years Ago Clean Water Act Transformed How America Views Water, Time to Do It Again

(7) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 4:50 PM

I love to swim, and when you spend a lot of time in the water, you get a good sense of how America is treating its rivers, lakes, and oceans. Decades ago, I used to swim past factories and refineries dumping polluted waste right into Boston Harbor, and I dodged...

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Sports Teams to Share Green Success Stories at the White House

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2012 | 1:52 PM

President Obama loves basketball, but that's not the reason why the reigning NBA champions, the Miami Heat, are invited to the White House tomorrow. Representatives from the Heat, as well as other professional sports teams, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Eagles, Portland Trailblazers, Saint Louis Cardinals, and others,...

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Ending FDA Paralysis on Antibiotics With Two Court Victories and a Push for Transparency

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2012 | 5:09 PM

Twice within the past three months, history was made when a federal court ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action on the health threat posed by antibiotic misuse in animal feed.

This one-two punch, which was sparked by an NRDC lawsuit,...

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The GOP Is Wasting Our Time

(8) Comments | Posted June 13, 2012 | 9:45 PM

Working families face countless challenges and many Americans are looking for a job, any job. Yet some politicians think the best way to keep their job is by not doing it. Take Sen. Inhofe who is just wasting Congress' time -- and therefore the taxpayer's money -- instead of getting...

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Farming Better, Eating Better: On the Ground Solutions From the Growing Green Awards

(1) Comments | Posted May 23, 2012 | 12:58 PM

The evening was foggy, but the mood was upbeat at NRDC's fourth annual Growing Green Awards, held in San Francisco last week. It was inspiring for me not only to meet our winners in person, but to see how our work making food and agriculture more sustainable has...

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