Thursday AM November 26th, 2009

A coal-fired power plant near Houston is the second dirtiest plant in Texas for carbon dioxide pollution, according to a new analysis of government data by Environment Texas. Ed Mayberry reports.

coalThe W. A. Parish coal-fired plant is the sixth dirtiest plant in the country, according to the new report.  Texas ranks first for the most carbon dioxide pollution from power plants in 2007—the most recent year for which final EPA data is available.  Gerri Witthuhn with Environment Texas says we have the oldest and dirtiest power plants in the country.

"When we're seeing that much CO² coming from those power plants, it becomes quite apparent that we need to set some stronger standards on our smokestack industries to make sure that they're not just polluting without license, but are trying to be as clean as they can possibly be.  The technology's been around for a while and it's just about somebody enforcing this upon our smokestack industries to make sure that they use this available technology and are as clean as they can possibly be."

Whitthuhn says the Senate is considering legislation to establish federal limits on global warming pollution and standards and incentives for clean energy.

"We can't automatically switch from coal to 100 per cent renewable at the blink of an eye, so we want to make sure while we are using coal for our electricity that these coal plants are as clean as they can possibly be.  And that means allowing the EPA, and Congress has passed strong legislation that ensures that these coal plans and big smokestack industries are meeting the strongest standards for global warming pollution." 

Power plants built three decades ago or more produced 73 per cent of the total global warming pollution from power plants in 2007. 

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...