For Immediate Release
June 16, 2022
Leigh-Anne Cole, Community Action Works; Acting Director, 617-721-2858, firstname.lastname@example.org
Morgan Folger, Environment America Research & Policy Center Destination: Zero Carbon Campaign Director, 267-609-6810, email@example.com
Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Education Fund Environment Campaigns Director, 609-610-8002, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Morgenstein, Media Relations Director, 678-427-1671, email@example.com
RESOURCE: The 100 most polluting power plants in the U.S.
The EPA must do more to address global warming pollution from power plants
PHILADELPHIA – Ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision on West Virginia vs Environmental Protection Agency, a case that will determine the EPA’s authority to regulate climate pollution, Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund are releasing a new factsheet ranking America’s worst power plants when it comes to spewing pollution. Though increased renewable energy generation has led to decreased emissions from the power sector, more than 3,400 fossil-fuel power plants are still contaminating American skies and contributing to climate change.
The new factsheet ranks U.S. power plants by their contribution to climate change based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest eGRID data. The dirtiest power plants have an outsized impact: In 2020, the 100 most climate-polluting plants were responsible for 44% percent of global warming emissions from the power sector despite only generating 19% percent of total electricity.
“Our changing climate affects every aspect of our lives, from the air we breathe to the food we grow in the communities we call home,” said Morgan Folger, Destination: Zero Carbon campaign director with Environment America Research & Policy Center and author of the factsheet. “Dirty power plants threaten our health and the climate, yet these super-polluters have filled the skies with pollution for decades without consequence. We need to hold the worst power plants accountable for damaging our climate.”
Top 10 Dirtiest Power Plants in Massachusetts, 2020
|Rank||Plant Name||County Name||Primary Fuel||2020 Carbon Dioxide Equivalent Emissions (Million Metric Tons)|
|1||Fore River Energy Center||Norfolk||Gas||1,340,223|
|3||Bellingham Power Generation LLC||Norfolk||Gas||589,674|
|4||Blackstone Power Generation LLC||Worcester||Gas||567,641|
|5||SEMASS Resource Recovery||Plymouth||Biomass||535,135|
|6||Kendall Green Energy LLC||Middlesex||Gas||421,551|
|8||Salem Harbor Station NGCC||Essex||Gas||334,101|
|10||Wheelabrator Millbury Facility||Worcester||Biomass||257,389|
Coal-fired power plants made up the majority of the 100 dirtiest power plants, but methane gas-fired plants are also major contributors to climate change. New research on methane leaks finds that the emissions associated with extracting and transporting methane are a serious climate problem. Though burning methane gas releases less carbon dioxide than burning coal, 14 gas-fired plants still make the list of top polluters.
“Methane gas is a damaging fossil fuel that puts our communities, the public health and the climate at risk,” said Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s environment campaigns director. “That this many gas-fired power plants made the list of top 100 polluters is telling: – It’s time to end our reliance on fossil fuels and move toward a cleaner, safer and healthier future.”
To get power plant pollution under control, the factsheet recommends limiting emissions from power plants and accelerating America’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The EPA is expected to work on several power plant rules this year, including the proposed Good Neighbor plan, which would require states to clean up air pollution that travels across state lines. A Supreme Court ruling expected this June, West Virginia vs Environmental Protection Agency, could hamstring the EPA’s ability to set limits on carbon emissions from power plants.
“We can repower our country more cleanly and safely with renewable energy by shutting down or repurposing the worst-polluting offenders,” said Folger. “But we can’t expect coal and gas companies to volunteer to turn off their fountains of emissions — and profits. Because of that, the EPA should take swift action to limit carbon pollution from the dirtiest power plants.”