Two Entergy Arkansas Coal Plants Ranked on List of Nation's 'Dirtiest'

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 12:00 am  

A study ranking the nations’ 50 most polluting power plants is highlighting some of the issues electric industries in Arkansas and elsewhere are facing as environmental regulations change.

The study was researched by the Environment America Research & Policy Center in Boston. According to the study, the U.S. emits the most carbon dioxide in the world after China. In 2011, the U.S. emitted 5,277 million metric tons of CO2, 2,159 of which came from the power sector.

The country has about 6,000 facilities that generate electricity, and about 30 percent of the pollution from those facilities comes from the 50 plants outlined.

The 50 plants account for 656 MMT, or more than 2 percent of the world’s energy-related carbon pollution.

At the top of the list is Georgia Power’s Scherer plant in Juliette, Ga., producing 21 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2011, more than the entire state of Maine.

Of the 50, two are located in Arkansas: No. 42 is the White Bluff coal plant in Redfield (Jefferson County), and No. 35 is the Independence coal plant in Newark (Independence County). The former produced 10.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2011; the latter produced 11.1 million.

Both are owned by Entergy Arkansas Inc.

“All coal plants emit carbon dioxide,” said Chuck Barlow, vice president of environmental strategy and policy for Entergy Corp. “It’s not a surprise to anybody that coal plants emit carbon dioxide.”

Barlow said the list is more indicative of the country’s largest coal plants, as opposed to its dirtiest. He said Entergy has been responsible overall with its emissions.

“In 2001, we took a voluntary [emission] cap,” he said. “We were the first investor-owned utility in the country to do so. Our fleetwide cap was to stay 20 percent below [year] 2000-level emissions. That’s lower than the president’s goal. The president’s goal is 17 percent below 2005 emissions.”

In 2001, Entergy established a $25 million fund to support its emission target. In 2005 it added $3.25 million to that, and another $10 million was added in 2011.

Overall, Barlow said, Entergy has hit its 20 percent target.



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