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Enviros renew pressure on Cuomo over carbon emissions ahead of EPA announce

Kate O'Connell/WXXI

Environmental groups are renewing pressure on Governor Cuomo to make good on his commitment to reduce carbon pollution in the state. On Tuesday the Research and Policy Center of Environment New York released its list of America’s Dirtiest Power Plants including the five worst in New York State.

Calling it the elephant in the room, researchers behind the report claim power plants are the largest source of global warming pollution in country. By their estimation they account for 41-percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide pollution.

Eric Whalen of Environment New York says CO2 is driving global warming.

“I think a lot of the focus has been on ways to reduce your own carbon footprint and ways to cut your own carbon pollution but the bottom line is if we really want to solve global warming pollution we need action to cut global warming pollution from the biggest sources, power plants.

The report is based on data from 2011, and two upstate power stations figure on the list.

Kintigh Generating Station in Somerset was top of the list: emitting almost 3.8 million mass tons of carbon dioxide. That’s not enough to make the nation’s Top 100 though, when compared to the more than 21 tons from the Scherer plant in Georgia.

the Dunkirk plant, also made the state’s Top 5 list, although half of the plant was  mothballed in late 2012 and it’s now being considered for conversion to natural gas.

The emissions from the five facilities made up over 20% of the statewide total.

Governor Cuomo is proposing reducing the regional CO2 emission cap from 165 million tons of CO2 to 91 million tons. It would then decline an additional 2-and-a-half-percent annually through 2020.

The environmentalists push for a lowered carbon cap comes in line with the Obama Administration’s own proposal to limit carbon pollution from new and existing power plants which will be officially unveiled on September 20th by the EPA.

Power Plants NY Scrn by Matthew Leonard

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