EPA's first inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions finds Dominion-Virginia Power to be the state's Biggest Climate Change Polluter
Following a year of bizarre and destructive weather, the US EPA has just released its first inventory of large emitters of greenhouse gas emissions. The data available on a searchable website shows Dominion-Virginia Power to be the state's largest emitter of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. The top three polluters in Virginia were all Dominion Virginia Power coal-fired power plants: Chesterfield, Clover, and Chesapeake Power Stations.
"We are pleased that Dominion is proposing to retire several of its oldest and dirtier coal units," said Glen Besa, Virginia Director for the Sierra Club. Last September, Dominion announced the retirement of both the Chesapeake and Yorktown coal plants which among the top ten polluters in Virginia.
"The retirement of the Chesapeake and Yorktown coal plants is welcome news except that Dominion has announced its intention to replace that electricity with new gas-fired power plants," said Besa. "Natural gas is cleaner than coal but it still is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. For example, also in the top ten of the state's biggest polluters is the Tenaska Virginia Generating Station, a gas fired power plant in Fluvanna County ranked at number nine."
"Our reliance on fossil fuels, coal, natural gas and oil, all contribute to climate change," explained Besa. "That is why it is critical that we begin the transition away from these fuels that are disrupting our climate and contributing to sea level rise."
The inventory shows that 74.5 % of our greenhouse gas emissions from large emitters in Virginia come from power plants.
"There is an alternative to disrupting our climate, inundating our coasts and polluting our air," said Besa. "Wind and solar technology that we have today can move us along a path to a clean energy future. In building that future, Virginia will see thousands of new clean energy jobs. It is just a matter of political will."
"Unfortunately, if we wait too long to begin this transition to clean energy, the economic and human costs of climate change will be overwhelming. Just consider the costs of seawalls and levies throughout Hampton Roads, an area second only to New Orleans in vulnerability to sea level rise," stated Besa.
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