Front Porch Blog

Progress Energy Goes in Right Direction (TVA Remains Among Worst Regional Polluters)

Via the Triangle Business Journal:

Environmental investor group Ceres, the National Resources Defense Coalition and Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. on Wednesday released the “Benchmarking Air Emissions of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States 2004,” a study of U.S. power plant pollutants that indicates that while certain harmful emissions fell between 1990 and 2004, global warming emissions climbed during the same period.

Here in North Carolina, we have pursued strenuous air pollution laws of our own. The 2002 “Clean Smokestacks Act” passed the General Assembly with just 5 dissenting votes (out of 170 members) and remains arguably the strongest air pollution law in the country. Our Attorney General, Roy Cooper (God bless him) has since gone after 13 other states who think that they dont have to clean up their emissions because the pollution leaves their state en route to the Southern Appalachians.

Raleigh-based Progress Energy just installed its first scrubber in 2005. Its second will be installed in May. Both are in Asheville. In 2012, Progress plans to have eight more scrubbers installed.

TVA, Southern Co, and American Electric Power (no suprise there) were again rated among the worst. And while Progress was sixth in Sulfur Dioxide Emissions, seventh in Nitrous Oxide, and ninth in carbon dioxide, I appluad them for making the neccesary long-term investment to significantly limit their emissions on a reasonable timeframe. Out of the to 100, Progress still produced the 9th largest amount of electricity.

The study found that a small number of companies produce a relatively large amount of emissions, with Southern Co., American Electric Power and the Tennessee Valley Authority responsible for 24 percent of the industry’s sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, 21 percent of the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, 19 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and 22 percent of the mercury emissions.

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