September 14, 2013
The Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center (EMRPC) released a report stating that “power plants are the largest contributors to global warming pollution” and that carbon dioxide emissions can be cut by reducing the coal – power plant (CPP) footprint.
The report, entitled, “America’s dirtiest Power Plants” found that:
• America’s power plants are its single largest source of carbon pollution, responsible for 40 percent of emissions nationwide.
• In Massachusetts, the top 5 dirtiest power plants for carbon are Mystic Generating Station, Brayton Point, Fore River Generating Station, Millennium Power, and ANP Blackstone Energy Project.
• The most carbon-polluting power plant in the nation – Georgia Power Company’s Plant Scherer – emits as much carbon pollution as 4.4 million cars.
• Overall, Massachusetts power plants produce as much carbon each year as 3.8 million cars.
Ben Hellerstein, field associate for the EMPRC said: “The fact is that there are steps that the owners can take to reduce their carbon emissions, but at the end of the day, they are still burning fossil fuels, they’re still burning dirty sources of energy, so we definitely would encourage them to adopt any and all measures to reduce their emissions, but over the long term, we need to be transitioning to cleaner sources of energy, like solar and wind.”
Hellerstein equated global warming to power plant usage: “What these plants are doing right now is making an outside contribution to global warming, which is putting communities across the state of Massachusetts at risk. So we need to put the safety and the health of our communities above the profits of the fossil fuel companies. And I would say that’s the message of our report, is we need these nationwide standards to limit carbon pollution from CPP in order to keep our community safe.”
The Obama administration will announce new rules to address global warming; including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placing limitations on carbon dioxide emissions for new and existing CPPs.
Called Obama’s War on Coal (WoC), the president stated that clean-coal technology must be looked into; however truly clean forms of energy will be pursued to propel America into becoming a low green-house gas emissions leader.
Last June, President Obama spoke at Georgetown University to convince the audience that carbon dioxide emissions emanating from coal-burning plants should be severely restricted through new governmental regulations.
Senator Joe Manchin said that the Obama administration is “using every tool they have to destroy the most abundant, reliable and affordable resource that we have.”
The 2013 World Energy Outlook (WEO) report entitled “Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map” produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA) claims that China is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and should invest in renewable energy while mandating energy efficiency.
Globally, emissions of CO2 rose by 1.4% in 2012. Japan alone had a 6% rise which coincides with their phasing out of nuclear power.
The IEA would like to see global compliance to 4 policies that would endeavor to control the climate and not harm economic growth of individual nations.
• Constructing and improving energy efficient buildings
• Improving industry and transport
• Limiting the use of energy wasting power plants
• Halving methane emissions
• Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies
Faith Birol, chief economist for the IEA, wants governments across the globe to take the findings of the 2013 WEO report seriously and make the necessary adjustments to come into compliance with their recommendations.
Looking to 2020, the international community should spend $1.5 trillion to adhere to climate targets.
The IEA expects that all governments would contribute to this investment into schemes to stored CO2 which would enable fossil fuels to continue to be used.