Because environmental challenges are so complicated, potential solutions are rarely as simple as they seem.
For example, the market for electric vehicles EVs is growing rapidly, outpacing hybrids, although the supply is nowhere near the million EVs President Obama called for in his 2011 State of the Union Address which might be why he didn’t mention the topic this year. Fewer cars running on fossil fuels are a good thing, right? Actually, a new University of Minnesota report finds that EVs can be worse for the environment than gas cars, depending on where they get their electricity. If the utility grid that charges them is powered by coal, EVs can produce nearly four times more deaths from air pollution. Because coal is the single largest source of grid energy in the US nearly 40 percent, alternative cars could be exacerbating an already enormous problem.