TALLAHASSEE -- On the heels of increasingly severe weather events, a September report from Environment Florida Research & Policy Center finds that Florida ranks third in the country for most carbon pollution from power plants, the state’s largest single source of global warming pollution.
Florida has a lot at stake if scientists’ predictions about the worst impacts of climate change come true. The state’s coral reefs may become victims of ocean acidification caused by increased carbon pollution. Much of the Everglades and some of the state’s most prized coastal cities could be flooded. Rising seas could threaten fresh drinking water with saltwater intrusion. The report, “America’s Dirtiest Power Plants,” illustrates the scale of carbon pollution from Florida’s power sector and ranks Florida’s biggest carbon polluters.
Key findings from the report include:
• Florida’s power plants are the third most polluting in the country.
• In Florida, the top five most polluting power plants are: Crystal River, Big Bend, West County Energy Center, Seminole and St. John’s River Power Park.
• Florida’s power plants are its single largest source of carbon pollution—responsible for 49 percent of statewide emissions.
• Duke Energy’s (formerly Progress Florida Energy, Inc.) Crystal River plant is the 44th most carbon-polluting power plant in the nation.
• Florida’s power plants produce as much carbon each year as nearly 25 million cars. Environment Florida released the report in view of the Big Bend plant along Tampa Bay, the second dirtiest coal-fired power plant in the state.
Millions call for action
With intense flooding in Florida and events like Superstorm Sandy becoming more frequent and severe, Florida is already feeling the impact of global warming.
“If we want a cleaner, safer future for our kids, we can’t afford to ignore power plants’ overwhelming contribution to global warming,” said Jennifer Rubiello, field associate with Environment Florida. “Florida is the third largest emitter of carbon pollution from the biggest sources, so it’s critical that our leaders step up and act.”
“We need to move away from polluting power plants and make a change to clean, renewable energy like wind, solar and energy efficiency,” said Jeremiah Rohr, trainer and project manager with Solar Source, a Florida-based solar contractor. “But this will only happen if we take a much longer and principled view of our energy needs.” The release of the report comes as Environment Florida is pushing to ensure that President Obama’s climate plan, which includes proposing limits on pollution from new and existing power plants, is put into action.
This article appears courtesy of Environment Florida
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