TAMPA, Fla. – On the heels of increasingly severe weather events, a new report from Environment Florida Research & Policy Center finds that Florida ranks 3rd in the country for most carbon pollution from power plants, the state’s largest single source of global warming pollution. Scientists predict that extreme weather events will become more frequent and severe for future generations without action to reduce the carbon pollution fueling the problem.
“Florida has a great deal at stake when it comes to global warming, and it turns out we’re a huge part of the problem,” said Jennifer Rubiello, Field Associate for Environment Florida. “Florida ranks 3rd when it comes to carbon emissions, so it’s critical that we clean up our act, starting with our dirtiest power plants.”
The report, America’s Dirtiest Power Plants, comes as the Obama administration readies a new set of rules to tackle global warming. It illustrates the scale of carbon pollution from Florida’s power sector and ranks Florida’s biggest carbon polluters.
Key findings from the report include:
- Florida’s power plants are the 3rd most polluting in the country.
- In Florida, the top five most polluting power plants are Crystal River, Big Bend, West County Energy Center, Seminole, and St. John’s River Power Park.
- Florida’s power plants are its single largest source of carbon pollution - responsible for 49 percent of statewide emissions.
- Duke Energy’s (formerly Progress Florida Energy Inc.) Crystal River plant is the 44th most carbon-polluting power plant in the nation.
- Florida’s power plants produce as much carbon each year as nearly 25 million cars.
“With intense flooding in Florida and events like Hurricane Sandy becoming more frequent and severe, Florida is already feeling the impact of global warming,” said Susan Glickman, Energy and Climate Advocate for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Things will only get worse for us and our communities if we fail to take swift and bold action now.”
This summer, President Obama directed his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to propose limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants, the largest single source of carbon pollution. In a major step, the EPA is expected to propose an updated rule for cutting carbon pollution from new power plants on September 20. Floridians have already submitted over 150, 000 public comments in support of limiting carbon pollution from power plants.
“We need to move away from polluting power plants and make a change into 21st century sustainable technologies like wind, solar, and energy efficiency,” said Jeremiah Rohr, trainer and project manager with Solar Source. “But this will only happen if we take a much longer and principled view of our energy needs.”
"We don't want Florida lawmakers to take us backward by trying to modify old coal fired power plants rather than moving towards clean energy," said Glickman. "It's critical that leaders like Senator Nelson support the President’s plan and champions like Representative Castor continue to do so.”
Environment Florida and speakers called on state leaders to join them in supporting limits on power plants’ carbon pollution.
“If we want a cleaner, safer future for our kids, we can't afford to ignore power plants' overwhelming contribution to global warming,” said Rubiello. “Florida is the 3rd biggest emitter of carbon pollution from the biggest sources, so it’s critical that our Florida leaders step up and support action.”