Timeline 1 - US fossil fuel environmental history


Discovery of carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere

1/2/1957 - 2/2/1957

Discovered by Roger Revelle and Charles Keeling of Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

1/2/1962 - 2/2/1962

The book that catalyzed the worldwide environmental movement, Silent Spring called for an end to indiscriminate pesticide use and, on a broader level, a change in the way we view nature

The Clean Air act is established

1/1/1963 - 1/1/1970

This is a law that defines newly established EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency) responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation's air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer.

Formation of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

2/18/1969 - 1/1/1970

Endangered Species Act

12/1/1973 - 12/18/1973

Discovery of Atmospheric ozone depleting substances (CFCs)

1/1/1974 - 12/1/1974

F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina discover that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) can destroy ozone in the stratosphere.

Safe Drinking Water act

12/1/1974 - 12/16/1974

Toxic Substances Control act (TSCA)

11/16/1976 - 11/17/1976

CFC use in aerosols in banned in the US

1/1/1978 - 1/2/1978

Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP)

11/13/1979 - 3/16/1980

Established to reduce air pollutant emissions and acid rain.

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability act (CERCLA)

1/1/1980 - 1/2/1980

Created the Superfund program

Fracking natural gas becomes more common

1/1/1990 - 1/2/1990

Because of the development of horizontal drilling in the 80's

Clean air act ammendments of 1990

4/2/1990 - 7/3/1990

new automobile emissions standards, BACT for toxins, reduction on CFCs

US does not ratify Kyoto Protocol

12/11/1997 - 12/16/1997

The United States, the biggest single greenhouse-gas polluter, abandons the Kyoto Protocol. President George W. Bush questions scientific consensus on global warming, says the treaty is too expensive for the U.S. economy.

"An Inconvenient Truth" drives global warming in US politcal agenda

1/1/2006 - 2/2/2006

American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009

6/26/2009 - 6/29/2009

The bill would reduce nationwide greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 through a so-called "cap-and-trade" program under which companies would buy and sell emissions credits.


Three Mile Island Accident

1/1/1979 - 4/28/1979

The core of a nuclear power plant near Middletown, Pa. started to melt because of a cooling water problem, resulting in the release of some radiation into the atmosphere.

Pemex's Ixtoc I exploratory oil well blowout

6/3/1979 - 7/3/1979

The oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico 600 miles south of Texas is recognized as the second largest oil spill in history, 140 million gallons.

Oil Spill by Exxon Valdez tanker in Prince William Sound, Alaska

4/24/1989 - 7/26/1989

More than 11 million gallons of crude oil spilled. The cleanup cost the company $2.5 billion.

Deepwater Horizon oil Spill

4/20/2010 - 4/22/2010

As of May 1st it was leaking 210,000 gallons per day into the Gulf.