State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Report calls out power plants for carbon emissions

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 10, 2013 12:38 PM
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Photo by PPL Corporation


Environmentalists are pointing to a report based on federal data that shows Pennsylvania's largest source of carbon emissions comes from power plants.

"Pennsylvania's power plants are the third most global warming pollution creating in the country," Lina Blount, of PennEnvironment, said at a press conference Tuesday. The report comes in anticipation of federally proposed emissions regulations on new plants this year and existing plants next year.

Dr. Bob Little, with Pinnacle Family Health Care, was on hand to list the public health effects of such emissions, linked to global warming: more heat strokes and asthma cases, he said, as well as sneezes and sniffles.

"Ragweed grows faster and makes more pollen in warm weather," said Little. "So those of you with allergies - it's not going to get any better in the future."

The report calls out seven Pennsylvania power plants as among the country's top 100 "most polluting" based on carbon emissions. One listed is the PPL Brunner Island plant in York County. PPL spokesman Ryan Hill said the utility has spent more than $860 million on upgrades to limit the plant's pollution, but not with regard to carbon dioxide.

"The technology doesn't exists to remove carbon from a power plant on the scale of Brunner Island," Hill said. Reducing emissions, he added, would have to come at the expense of electricity generation.

"We're not opposed to reasonable regulations and ones that balance the benefits to the environment with costs to the customers," Hill said.

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