The Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), Newark, N.J., and the Washington-based Natural Resources Defense Council have released a report that blames the nation's largest electric utilities for a majority of three types of air pollution.
The study compares the nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide emissions of the utilities. The report shows that the 100 largest of the 838 electricity-generating utilities produce 90% of all emissions of the three chemicals. The study also found that emission rates, the amount of pollution per unit of energy produced, vary greatly among electric companies, reflecting the grandfathering of a large number of coal-fired generators from requirements of the Clean Air Act.
"The data contained in the report once again underscores the fact that the electric industry is a major part of the air pollution problem in the U.S. and the industry has to do more if it is going to be a part of the solution," says Lawrence R. Codey, PSE&G president and chief operating officer. "We aren't going to achieve national air quality goals with the current system of uneven, inequitable environmental standards."