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While Congress Debates EPA, CO2 Keeps Rising

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CARBON EMISSIONS
AP

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Last year saw the biggest annual increase in carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in the U.S. since the EPA began tracking such emissions in 1995, reports the Environmental Integrity Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established by former EPA enforcement attorneys:

Even as a fierce debate rages in Congress today about whether or not to handcuff the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deal with coal-fired power plant pollution, a new report from the Environmental Integrity Project shows that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants in the U.S. rose 5.56 percent in 2010 over the year before, the biggest annual increase since the EPA began tracking emissions in 1995. The report is based on data from the EPA's "Clean Air Markets" website, which tallies emission reports from electric generators.

Texas power plants led the pack in 2010, with nearly 257 million ton of CO2 emissions, as much as the next two states combined (Florida and Ohio), and more than seven times the total CO2 emissions from power plants in California. Despite a favorable climate for wind energy and falling natural gas prices, Texas opened three new coal plants toward the end of 2010, with a combined capacity of 2,156 megawatts. The 10 worst states for CO2 pollution identified in the report are Texas, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri.

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