A newly released benchmarking report takes a closer look at the air emissions of the 100 largest U.S. electric power producers. It found that several key pollutants, including carbon dioxide, have dropped significantly even as the American economy has grown. This is clear evidence that emissions reductions and economic growth can go hand in hand.
The report found that though overall emissions are on the decline, there is uneven performance across power producers and states in terms of emissions. Other key findings include:
- Mercury air emissions from power plants have dropped 69 percent since 2000.
- In 2015, power plants were responsible for 59 percent of SO 2 emissions, 13 percent of NOx emissions, 44 percent of mercury air emissions, and 38 percent of all CO2 emissions in the U.S.
- 10 producers were responsible for 52 percent of SO2 emissions; 40 percent of NOx; 47 percent of mercury; and 38 percent of CO2 emissions.
- Coal accounted for 34 percent of the power produced, followed by natural gas, nuclear, and renewable power.
While the electric power industry is making efforts to reduce emissions and managing to do so without sacrificing economic growth, there is still a lot of work to be done.