This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 27, 2002

Report Examines Air Pollution From Top 100 Power Companies

A report released last week by CERES, a national coalition of environmental and investor groups, tallies the air pollution caused by the 100 largest electric power companies in the United States. The report finds that fewer than 20 of these companies account for half of the carbon dioxide, mercury, nitrous oxides, and sulfur dioxide emissions produced by all the companies combined. Leading the list for total emissions are American Electric Power, Southern Company, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). See the CERES press release.

For those who prefer more refined analyses, the report also ranks the companies by total emissions per megawatt hour, emissions from fossil plants per megawatt hour, and emissions from coal plants per megawatt hour. For total emissions, Associated Electric Cooperative produces the most nitrous oxides per megawatt-hour, Buckeye Power produces the most sulfur dioxide per megawatt-hour, and Basin Electric Power Cooperative produces the most carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour. See the full report, especially the Executive Summary, on the CERES Web site.

Coincidentally, the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) just released a report that examines TVA's plans to reduce air emissions. Although the report notes that TVA plans to reduce its emissions while increasing its generating capacity, it also finds that TVA's programs to reduce electricity demand are currently falling short. The report recommends an expansion of demand-side management programs at the utility. See the GAO report (PDF 662 KB) Download Acrobat Reader