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50 US Power Plants Emit More GHG Than South Korea

By Countercurrents.org

11 September, 2013

Fifty US power plants emit more greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels than all but six countries, said a Christian Science Monitor report. * The CSM report cited a new study report by Environment America.

The report found: "50 dirtiest" stand out for emitting more than 2 percent of the world's energy-related carbon dioxide pollution – which would place them at No. 7 if they were a country, behind Germany and ahead of South Korea.

The CSM report said:

The study by Environment America paints a bulls-eye on the biggest coal-fired power plants of the US .

The EA report suggested reining in a relatively small share of 6,000 electric generating facilities in the US could have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

The report found: Of the US' 6,000 coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, wind, and solar electric-generating facilities, a small sub-group of mostly coal-fired power generators produces more than its share of the US' carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared with the electricity it produces.

According to the report, the "50 dirtiest" power plants generated nearly 33 percent of the US power sector's carbon dioxide emissions in 2011 but only about 16 percent of its electricity.

The report said:

US power plants are the largest source of GHG in the US , responsible for 41 percent of the US ' CO2 pollution, the report states.

The study found:

The top CO2-emitting power plant in the US – Power Plant Scherer in Juliette , Ga. – produced more than 21 million metric tons of CO2 in 2011, a greater total than all of Maine . Ninety-eight of the US ' 100 most-polluting power plants in terms of total CO2 emissions are coal plants.

According to the report's authors cleaning up even a few power plants could have an outsize environmental effect, the report's authors say.

The CSM report said:

“America's dirtiest power plants are the elephant in the room when it comes to global warming," said Julian Boggs, global warming program director at Environment America Research & Policy Center, in a statement. "If we want a cleaner, safer future for our kids, we can't afford to ignore power plants' oversized contribution to global warming.”

Utility industry officials say they're already making major efforts to cut traditional pollution emissions, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide. The Southern Company, whose subsidiary, Georgia Power, owns Plant Scherer, is spending billions to upgrade Scherer's antipollution systems, a spokesman says.

“Georgia Power and Plant Scherer comply with all standards for air and water qualities that are set by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Georgia Environmental Protection Division,” says Mark Williams, a company spokesman, in an e-mail.





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