Power Plants Remain America’s Largest Source of Global Warming Pollution

Media Releases

Environment Connecticut Research and Policy Center

Hartford, CT – As the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, a new report released by Environment Connecticut Research & Policy Center highlights the largest contributors to global warming pollution – power plants. Scientists predict that global warming will lead to even more frequent and severe extreme weather events like Sandy unless action is taken to significantly cut pollution.

“America’s dirtiest power plants are the elephant in the room when it comes to global warming,” said Chris Phelps, Campaign Director for Environment Connecticut. “The devastation of Hurricane Sandy was a stark reminder that we can’t afford to ignore power plants’ contribution to global warming. For America, tackling this problem means cleaning up our dirtiest power plants.”

The report, titled America’s Dirtiest Power Plants comes as the Obama administration readies a new set of rules to tackle global warming. It illustrates the scale of carbon pollution from power plants and ranks each state’s biggest carbon polluters. Among the findings of the report:

  • Power plants are America’s single largest source of carbon pollution, responsible for 40 percent of emissions nationwide.
  • 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, Connecticut’s power plants produce as much carbon each year as 1.6 million cars.

This summer, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to propose limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. EPA is expected to propose an updated rule for cutting carbon pollution from new power plants on September 20th. Connecticut residents have already submitted over 29,000 public comments in support of limiting carbon pollution from power plants.

Connecticut is one of nine Northeastern states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a historic program capping carbon pollution from power plants. Already, RGGI has led to significant cuts in power plant pollution in the region, and Connecticut and the other RGGI states are currently implementing changes that could produce a further 20% reduction in carbon pollution over the next decade.

“Connecticut and the other RGGI states’ efforts to cut carbon pollution from power plants are producing results,” said Phelps. “We need the EPA to take action to ensure that similar steps to cut pollution are taken nationwide.”