All of Rhode Island’s power plants combined release nearly as much carbon pollution as Massachusetts’ Brayton Point, located across Mount Hope Bay in Somerset.
That finding is detailed in Environment Rhode Island’s latest report, America’s Dirtiest Power Plants, which was released today. The top five dirtiest power plants in the state, listed in order, are Entergy’s Johnston facility, Manchester Street Power Station in Providence, Tiverton Power Plant, and the two Ocean State Power facilities in Harrisville. The report analyzes the nation’s power plants, highlighting the top 50 which emit the most carbon dioxide. None of Rhode Island’s power plants made that list, however.
“Here in Rhode Island, we sit in close proximity to one of New England’s biggest polluters,” said Channing Jones, a field associate with Environment Rhode Island, during a press conference Friday. “Brayton Point emits nearly as much carbon pollution as all of Rhode Island’s power plants combined, at 3.3 metric tons of carbon pollution annually. That’s the equivalent of close to 700,000 passenger vehicles.”
Mr. Jones, along with state and local officials, and representatives from other local environmental groups, held a press conference Sept. 20 at the Mt. Hope boat ramp. Brayton Point’s two smoke stacks were clearly visible puffing emissions, and served as the perfect backdrop for Environmental Rhode Island’s platform.
“Even as policies as regional greenhouse gas initiative works to cut carbon pollution and promote clean energy here in New England,” Mr. Jones said, “power plants remain the single largest source of carbon pollution in America.
“Scientists predict that extreme weather will become increasingly significant and severe unless we cut the carbon emissions that are causing the problem. If we want a cleaner, safer future for generations to come, we can’t afford to ignore power plants’ overwhelming contribution to global warming.”
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse highlighted the effects of global warming in Bristol, where the temperature in the bay had increased by 3 degrees over the winter, and increased by 4 degrees this summer.
“On a good day, Rhode Islanders shouldn’t have to stay inside because of the invisible gas in the air, which is dropping the ozone layer,” Sen. Whitehouse said. “The seas in Newport are also 10-inches higher.”
The release of Environment Rhode Island’s report coincides with the release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new standards regulating fossil fuel emissions for new power plants. The EPA’s restrictions on existing power plants is set to be unveiled next year.
According to Environment Rhode Island’s report, Georgia Power’s Plant Scherer is the dirtiest power plant in America, which emitted more than 21 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2011.