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OCT 07- OCT 14, 2014

Environmental Group Calls Somerset Plant, One of New York's Dirtiest Power Plants;
Compares NY Unfavorably to Tunisia

October 07, 2014

Ariel view of the AES Somerset Power Plant. An environmental group named as the second most polluting coal plant in New York.

(The following is a press release sent by Environment New York Research & Policy Center, a “statewide, citizen-based advocacy group.")

A new study shows New York’s coal-fired power plants dump as much carbon pollution into the atmosphere as the entire country of Tunisia.

“When power plants here in New York create as much pollution as an entire country, we know the climate’s in trouble,” said Heather Leibowitz, director of Environment New York. “It’s time to stop ignoring the nation’s largest global-warming polluters, and start investing in clean energy.”

The Environment New York Research & Policy Center report, America’s Dirtiest Power Plants, came as 100,000-plus activists and world leaders converged in New York City seeking solutions to climate change, which scientists have clearly linked to extreme weather events such as Hurricane Sandy.

The report also comes as the Environmental Protection Agency takes public comments on proposed, first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants. If enacted, the limits would be the largest step the United States or any country has ever taken to cut global warming emissions.

By comparing carbon emissions from U.S. power plants in 2012 to total carbon emissions of entire countries, the Environment New York analysis shows:

? If the United States’ fleet of coal- and gas-burning power plants were a country, it would be the 3rd-largest carbon polluter, behind the entire U. S. and China.

? TC Ravenswood, LLC, based in Long Island City, Queens, is New York’s largest global warming polluter, followed by Somerset Operating Co., LLC, in Barker, and New Athens Generating Company, LLC, in Athens.

? In total, New York’s five dirtiest power plants released approximately 11 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2012.

? Though none of the plants break the 100 dirtiest in the nation, together the top five New York plants contribute 32% of the New York power sector’s total emissions—an amount equivalent to 228,000,000,000 passenger vehicles.

? Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan would reduce as much carbon pollution in 2030 as the entire country of Canada, the world’s 8th-largest polluter, emits today.

The Clean Power Plan would also spur investments in clean energy like wind and solar power, for which there is vast potential across the country and in New York. In 2013, there were more than 140,000 solar jobs in the U.S., including 5,000 in New York. The wind industry employs 75,000 people around the country, and these numbers will increase.

Americans have submitted more than six million comments to EPA supporting limits on carbon pollution from power plants, and more than 1,000 people testified in support of the Clean Power Plan at hearings held across the country this summer. Local elected officials, small business owners and dozens of members of Congress have all voiced support for limits on carbon pollution.

“Individuals like U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand are true climate champs who are leading the way in cutting pollution and shifting to clean energy,” said Leibowitz. “The Environmental Protection Agency should encourage more states to follow New York’s lead.”, one of the leading forces behind the upcoming People’s Climate March, joined Environment New York across from the UN Building in Manhattan to release the new report.

“… 100,000 people will swarm the streets of midtown Manhattan to demand real solutions from our leaders on climate change,” said May Boeve, Executive Director of “It’s inexcusable that in the most prosperous country on Earth, we’re dragging our feet when it comes to transitioning off power generated by dirty power plants towards a sustainable and reliable clean energy grid. This report shows what’s at stake … and why clean power has to be one of the solutions as we address the larger climate crisis."

Somerset is located on the north boundary of Niagara County.






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