US Power Plants, Mostly Coal, Are Massive Carbon Emitters

The US EPA’s addition of oil, gas and coal methane emissions to its online greenhouse gas tracking tool increased national carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by over  80 million-metric-tons in 2011 from 2010, when figures were unavailable, reports Tiffany Stecker at Climate Wire. Although carbon dioxide is much more abundant, methane makes a far bigger impact on climate change with more than 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Carbon emissions from power plants were 4.5 percent lower in 2011 from 2010, due partly to switching from coal to natural gas, which releases, per kilowatt-hour, only half the carbon emitted from coal. Nonetheless, methane leaks and flaring in natural gas production could undermine the benefits. Last year, EPA completed standards requiring gas fracking wells to cut toxic emissions and smog-forming pollution. Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of carbon emissions, outpacing petroleum and natural gas by almost 10-to-1. Power plants accounted for two-thirds of total greenhouse gas emissions. Clean Air Watch president Frank O’Donnell noted, “If you want to take a real bite out of US greenhouse gas emissions, you have to go after power plants.”

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

 Source

 First-time reports from industry reveal massive methane emissions. U.S. EPA’s addition of oil, gas and coal methane emissions to its online greenhouse gas tracking tool revealed an 82.6-million-metric-ton increase in carbon dioxide equivalents over numbers from the previous year, when those figures were not available. ClimateWire

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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