All power plants are not created equal. It takes energy to make energy, and some corporations are nothing more than carbon clunkers. Here are America’s top 10 polluting plants.
The Environment America Center released a report this week outlining America’s 100 dirtiest power plants. Spoiler alert: 98 of them use coal. Electricity production is responsible for 41% of total carbon dioxide pollution in our country, and the 50 most-polluting plants alone account for more than 2% of global carbon dioxide pollution. With more than 6,000 electricity generating facilities nationwide, let’s take a look at the worst of worst.
From bad to worse
10. Arizonans can blame their own government for starting off the top 10. Its state-owned, coal-powered Salt River Project Navajo plant emits 15.9 million metric tons, or MMT, a year. How’s that for a public service?
9. DTE Energy‘s Detroit Edison Monroe plant in Michigan nabs ninth place with 16.4 MMT. The plot thickens with a bit of “greenwashing,” when the same plant won a Neighborhood Environmental Partnership award from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality last year. Seven hundred acres of wildlife habitat, seagull nesting sites, and produce gardens may be nice, but they’re not cutting any carbon.
8. FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE)‘s Generation Bruce Mansfield plant almost exactly matches Monroe’s emissions, but it plops its own pollution in Pennsylvania. Bruce is coughing out carbon today, but FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE) submitted a closure plan for the plant in March and has been busy closing down coal-fired power plants across the board.
7. AEP‘s Ohio Power Company General James M. Gavin Plant ups the ante with 16.6 MMT of carbon emissions. This should come as no surprise to the plant’s 200 neighbors, residents of small-town Cheshire. An interesting documentary takes a closer look at the local impact of a polluting power plant, as well as AEP’s proposed solution to Cheshire’s predicament.
6. Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK)‘s Gibson plant in Indiana adds 16.9 MMT of carbon to America’s atmosphere every year. With 3,145 MW capacity spread across five units, Gibson claims the title of Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK)’s largest power plant. Built in 1982, Gibson was at one time the largest coal plant in the United States and the third largest in the world. Although it’s still operational today, Gibson may be a goner in future, as Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) spends $9 billion to retire more than 3,400 MW of coal-fired units.