Labadie plant among top emitters of greenhouse gases
Feb 05, 2013 (St. Louis Post-Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Greenhouse gas emissions data for 2011 is in, and it shows that releases from U.S. power plants fell almost 5 percent from the previous year.
Missouri, however, is bucking the trend. Here in the Show-Me State, year-over-year emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from power plants rose 3 percent.
Leading the way was Missouri's largest coal-burning power plant, Ameren Missouri's 2,400-megawatt Labadie power station.
And the margin wasn't close. The Labadie plant in Franklin County released the equivalent of 18.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2011, making it the fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases among industrial facilities tracked nationwide.
The plant-level data comes from an EPA database of greenhouse gas emissions from more than 8,000 industrial facilities.
In 2008, Congress required the EPA to begin collecting greenhouse gas emissions data from industrial facilities such as power plants and oil refineries.
The information is publicly available on the EPA's user-friendly database, which can be found here.
The EPA database lets users sort and filter data in a variety of ways -- by industry, state, county or zip code, or the type of greenhouse gas. They can also compare data for many industries over a two-year period.
The EPA released the first set of data last year, representing 29 "source categories" or industry sectors from 2010. The 2011 data released on Tuesday included a dozen new sectors, notably oil and gas facilities and coal mines.
Not surprisingly, power plants remain the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, accounting for more than 2 billion metric tons, or a third of total U.S. emissions or carbon dioxide, methane and other heat-trapping gases that contribute to climate change.
The decline nationally in 2011 power plant greenhouse gas emissions is largely attributed to increasing reliance on natural gas as a generation fuel and renewable resources, such as wind and solar power.
Some other takeaways from the greenhouse gas database:
-- Total greenhouse gas emissions from tracked sources produced equivalent of 94.9 million metric tons in 2011. The top nine sources are all coal-burning power plants;
-- The 39 power plants reporting data in Missouri contributed 80 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions;
-- Of 16 facilities that emitted more than 1 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, all but two -- Mississippi Line Co.'s Ste. Genevieve production plant and the Holcim cement plant -- are power plants.
-- Dynegy Corp.'s Baldwin power plant was state's single largest emitter in 2011, pumping out the equivalent of 12 million metric tons of greenhouse gases;
-- Ameren's Coffeen, Newton and Edwards plants were all among the top eight emitters, as was the Joppa plant, of which Ameren owns an interest.
-- U.S. Steel Corp.'s Granite City Works, the Wood River refinery owned by Phillips 66 and Cenovus Energy and Dynegy's Wood River power station in Alton each emitted more than 3 million metric tons of greenhouse gases.
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