Home

About
- About Us
- Community Guidelines

Advertising on BOR
- Advertise on BOR

Advertisements


We're Counting On You.

Burnt Orange Report is redeveloping our website for the first time in almost a decade.

We're counting on your support to continue providing you free and frequent coverage of progressive issues that matter to Texans.

Help us build a website that is as great as the content we publish on it.



Texas Leads The Nation In Air Pollution


by: Adam Schwitters

Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 07:05 PM CST


Suni

On Wednesday, the EPA released an extensive database that offers an unprecedented level of detail on greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide in particular) in the United States.  It shows, among other things, that Texas is, by far, the greatest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the country.  Texas produces 294 million tons of these pollutants, more than the next two worst offenders combined (Pennsylvania and Florida).

These documents also clearly show that coal fired power plants are the single greatest contributor to greenhouse gas pollution in the US, accounting for 31.7% of all greenhouse gas emissions in 2009.  That is greater than automobile emissions, greater than all other forms of energy production combined, and greater than the output of every mine, refinery, and factory in the country combined.  

The largest concentration of “mega polluting facilities” in the US is a string of huge coal plants located to the east of I-35 from near San Antonio to Longview. These coal plants are aging (the most recent of these mega polluters were built in the 70’s), unreliable (coal plants were the cause of the 2011 rolling blackouts experienced by much of Texas), and undeniably nasty.  6 of these Texas coal plants are also among the top 10 worst mercury polluters in the country (Texas also has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in that form of pollution).  

While Texans need petroleum to fuel their cars (the second greatest contributor to greenhouse gasses), refineries to convert that petroleum into gasoline (the third greatest source), and the various industries that also contribute to greenhouse emissions, they do not need coal as their primary electricity generation fuel.  Texas leads the nation in wind power production.  It has abundant supplies of clean burning natural gas (though there are problems with extracting it from the ground).  Austin and San Antonio have both made recent strides in increasing solar power production with the opening of Texas’s largest solar plant in Webberville on January 6.

Thankfully, the consumers of this dirty coal fired energy are beginning to demand cleaner energy.  Austin and San Antonio have both made moves to retire aging coal plants, and the Lower Colorado River Authority has denied a water use permit to another major polluting plant.  If the rest of Texas joins this trend, we can get Texas off of the top of these terrible lists.

ADVERTISEMENT


Copyright Burnt Orange Report, all rights reserved.
Do not republish without express written permission.


Tags: (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

Amazon Referrals
Buying Back-to-School Books?

Use BOR's Amazon Referral and we'll receive a share of your purchase, at no cost to you!




Click here to shop.



Connect With BOR
    

2014 Texas Elections
Follow BOR for who's in, who's out, and who's up.

Candidate Tracker:
-- Statewide Races
-- Congressional Races
-- State Senate Races
-- State Rep. Races
-- SBOE Races
-- Austin City Council

Click here for all 2014 Elections coverage

Menu

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?


Texas Blue Pages

Texas Blue Pages
A career network for progressives.

Advertisement

Shared On Facebook

Burnt Orange Reporters
Editor and Publisher:
Katherine Haenschen

Senior Staff Writers:
Genevieve Cato
Joe Deshotel
Ben Sherman

Staff Writers:
Omar Araiza
Emily Cadik
Phillip Martin
Natalie San Luis
Katie Singh
Joseph Vogas

Founder:
Byron LaMasters

Blogger Emeritus:
Karl-Thomas Musselman

Read staff bios here.

Traffic Ratings
- Alexa Rating
- Quantcast Ratings
-
Syndication

Powered by: SoapBlox