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Ohio Ranks 2nd for Global Warming Pollution from Power Plants

9/12/2013, 6:23 p.m.
“America's dirtiest power plants are the elephant in the room when it comes to global warming," said Kathryn Lee, Field ...

Cincinnati, Ohio – On the heels of extreme heat waves in 2012 and the power outages that accompanied Hurricane Sandy, a new report from Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center finds that Ohio ranks in the country for most carbon pollution from its power plants, the state’s largest single source of global warming pollution. Scientists predict that extreme weather events will become more frequent and severe for future generations, unless we cut the dangerous carbon pollution fueling the problem.

“America's dirtiest power plants are the elephant in the room when it comes to global warming," said Kathryn Lee, Field Associate for Environment Ohio. "If we want a cleaner, safer future for our kids, we can't afford to ignore power plants' overwhelming contribution to global warming. For Ohio, tackling the problem means cleaning up the 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 Ohio’s power sector and ranks Ohio’s biggest carbon polluters.

Key findings from the report include:

Ohio’s power plants are the second most polluting in the country.

In Ohio, the top five most polluting power plants are General James M Gavin, JM Stuart, FirstEnergy W H Sammis, Cardinal, and Miami Fort.

Ohio’s power plants are its single largest source of carbon pollution - responsible for 48percent of statewide emissions.

Ohio has 6 power plants ranked as the top 100 carbon polluters in the country including: General James M Gavin at 7th, JM Stuart at 25th, and FirstEnergy W H Sammis 39th

Ohio’s power plants produce as much carbon each year as 25,200,000 cars.

“The city has been a leader in greenhouse gas reduction efforts since adopting the Green Cincinnati Plan in 2007,” said Larry Falkin, the Director of the Office of Environmental Quality of the City of Cincinnati. “We have succeeded in reducing emissions by more than 8%, through measures including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and alternative fuel vehicles. What we have learned it that if you do it right, climate protection works saves more than it costs, improves public health, and improves the quality of life.”

This summer, President Obama directed his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to propose limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants, the largest single source of carbon pollution. In a major step, the EPA is expected to propose an updated rule for cutting carbon pollution from new power plants on September 20. Ohioans have already submitted more than a quarter million public comments in support of limiting carbon pollution from power plants.

“The first thing our visitors see when they arrive to the Zoo is the 1.56 mw solar canopy in our main parking lot. This solar array alone shows our commitment to renewable energy, and becoming a solution to the energy and environmental challenges our planet is facing,” said Fia Cifuentes the Sustainability Coordinator at The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. “We want our visitors to know that commitment, and to be inspired to do their part as well. We can't do it alone, and collectively, the more changes we can make, no matter how big or small, households or power plants, the bigger impact on the environment we will have.”

Environment Ohio called on state leaders like Senator Brown to join them in supporting limits on power plants’ carbon pollution. “Ohio is the 2nd biggest emitter of carbon pollution from the biggest sources, so it’s critical that Senator Brown step up and support action,” said Lee.