Georgia Power’s Plant Scherer is #1 among the U.S. dirtiest power plants. But FPL owns most of one of the four units there, dirtying Georgia’s air for Florida’s power. The same FPL that wants the fracked methane Sabal Trail pipeline through Georgia, destroying Georgia’s environment. It’s time for Georgia to say no to destroying Georgia’s environment for a company in another state.
Thomas Stackpole wrote for Mother Jones 11 September 2013, 1 Percent of America’s Power Plants Emit 33 Percent of Energy Industry’s Carbon,
Less than 1 percent of US power plants produce nearly a third of the energy industry’s carbon emissions, according to a new report released Tuesday. “If the 50 most-polluting U.S. power plants were an independent nation,” reads the report from Environment America Research & Policy Center, an independent nonprofit, “they would be the seventh-largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, behind Germany and ahead of South Korea.” The vast majority of the top 100 offenders—98 of them in fact—are coal plants.
Here are the top 10 dirtiest plants in the states, and their yearly emissions:
- Georgia Power Co.’s Scherer Coal plant, Georgia (21.3 million metric tons)
According to Georgia Power, FPL owns 76.4% of Unit 4 at Plant Scherer. The other 23.6% is owned by JEA, Jacksonville Electric Authority, also dirtying Georgia’s air for Florida’s power.
Stackpole also wrote:
The United States has been trending away from coal, and a recent spate of bankruptcies and closings have thrown the future of coal-fired plants, and their potential for profit, into question. If the new EPA standards don’t change the US energy landscape, it’s possible that glut of cheap natural gas and looming expensive upgrades for coal plants will.
Yes, “modernization” of coal plants is one of FPL’s excuses for the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline and also conveniently for another pipeline right from the end of the Transco, Sabal, FSC chain to the sea where there’s a port approved for LNG export.
This current “modernization” excuse is very similar to FPL’s excuse for buying Plant Scherer Unit 4 twenty four years ago, when Tracy Kolody wrote for the Orlando Sun Sentinel 1 August 1990, Fpl Makes Power Play Utility Offers To Buy Georgia Plant,
Florida Power & Light Co. is seeking to buy a rural Georgia power plant as the utility copes with a tight supply of electricity and an upcoming shutdown at the Turkey Point nuclear plant.
Yet Turkey Point still isn’t shut. And now there are mutters of “modernization” through fracked gas as how Turkey Point will go away.
How about instead Florida should get on with solar power on rooftops and solar farms like Sabal Trail’s own RR10 inadvertently demonstrates would require much less acreage, would not require eminent domain takings of private property, and would be far less environmentally damaging, with no danger of leaks or explosions. Solar plus wind off the coast and a little water power can as a recent Stanford study demonstrated, power every U.S. state, especially the Sunshine State, plus the sunny states of Georgia and Alabama.
The century-old cozy baseload capacity utility model has had its day. It’s time to stop throwing money into the utility “death spiral” of refusal to deal with the disruptive challenge of ever-cheaper solar power, even after they’ve been told by their own think tank, Edison Electric Institute, and Citi GPS, and Wall Street, and Stanford. If the utilities won’t do it on their own initiative, we the people need to insist.
Green solar power is winning. Let’s not let a backwards utility take our land for its losing rearguard attempt to hold back the future. The future of solar power is already here. Let’s get on with it.