In Richmond, Virginia, the Environment Virginia Research & Policy Center released their report, America’s Dirtiest Power Plants, in the midst of the public comment period for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The plan aims to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030.
The report shows that Virginia’s coal-fired power plants release as much carbon pollution into the atmosphere as the entire nation of Croatia. Another key finding of the report, Virginia’s power plants carbon emissions are equal to the amount of carbon pollution from 3.5 million vehicles on the road –– accounting for 25% of the state’s total emissions. Additionally, the Chesterfield Power Station in Virginia is the state’s largest global warming polluter.
“When power plants here in Virginia create as much pollution as an entire country, we know the climate’s in trouble. It’s time to stop ignoring the nation’s largest global-warming polluter, and start investing in clean energy," Sarah Bucci, Campaign Director of Environment Virginia, said in reference to the report release.
At an event highlighting the report release, Charlottesville Vice-Mayor Dede Smith spoke about the benefits of renewable energy.
“Protecting our environment and climate is a win-win for places like the City of Charlottesville. We’re already using energy efficiency and clean energy programs to reduce pollution, create jobs, and save residents and the City money. Limits on carbon pollution from power plants could help spur even more clean energy here in Virginia,” said Smith.
Virginians have shown immense support for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, submitting over 195,000 public comments and turning out large numbers for the People’s Climate March in New York City. Bucci emphasized the importance of Virginia elected officials supporting the plan, “The Clean Power Plan has given Virginia a huge opportunity to cut dangerous carbon pollution and take charge of our energy future. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and Governor Terry McAuliffe should back the EPA’s plan and work to make Virginia a leader in clean energy.”