New report: Florida coal plants 2nd in country

For Immediate Release

Contact: Megan Severson, cell: 608-385-9946, megan@environmentamerica.org

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.As international leaders prepare for the United Nations Climate Summit next week in New York, a new study shows Florida’s coal-fired power plants dump as much carbon pollution into the atmosphere as the entire country of Chile.

 “When power plants here in Florida create as much pollution as an entire country, we know the climate’s in trouble,” said Megan Severson, Global Warming Organizing Director for Environment America. “It’s time to stop ignoring the nation’s largest global-warming polluter, and start investing in clean energy.”

The Environment Florida Research & Policy Center report, America’s Dirtiest Power Plants, comes as more than a hundred thousand activists and world leaders converge in New York City seeking solutions to climate change, which scientists have clearly linked to extreme weather events like hurricanes and intense flooding.

The report also comes as the Environmental Protection Agency takes public comments on proposed, first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants. If enacted, the limits would be the largest step the United States or any country has ever taken to cut global warming emissions.

By comparing carbon emissions from U.S. power plants in 2012 to total carbon emissions of entire countries, the Environment Florida analysis shows why limiting pollution from coal plants would make such a big impact. Key findings include:

  • If the United States’ fleet of coal- and gas-burning power plants were a country, it would be the 3rd-largest carbon polluter, behind the entire US and China.
  • Crystal River power plant, in Citrus County, is Florida’s largest global warming polluter, followed by Big Bend Power Station in Hillsborough County and West County Energy Center in Loxahatchee.
  • Florida ranks 2nd for carbon pollution from power plants.
  • Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan would reduce as much carbon pollution in 2030 as the entire country of Canada, the world’s 8th-largest polluter, emits today.

The Clean Power Plan would also spur investments in clean energy like wind and solar power, for which there is vast potential across the country and in Florida.

Americans have submitted more than 6 million comments to EPA supporting limits on carbon pollution from power plants; and more than a thousand people testified in support of the Clean Power Plan at hearings held across the country this summer. Local elected officials, small businesses owners and dozens of members of Congress have all voiced support for limits on carbon pollution.

 “Senator Nelson is a true climate champ who is leading the way in cutting pollution and shifting to clean energy,” said Severson. “The Environmental Protection Agency should encourage more states to follow Florida’s lead.”