Dirtiest plants

Wyoming's Jim Bridger coal-fired power plant. Photo/Allen Best

Wyoming’s Jim Bridger coal-fired power plant. Photo/Allen Best


What Colorado has in common with New Zealand beyond  mountains


Environment Colorado today issued a new report called “America’s Dirtiest Power Plants: Polluters on a Global Scale.” It’s a push behind the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, which would significant tighten restrictions on green house gas pollution form the electric utility sector on a state-by-state basis.

Environment Colorado, and presumably allied organizations, says the restrictions should be tighter than what the EPA proposes.

An interesting approach is comparing the emissions of states  to other nations. By this ranking, Colorado is comparable to New Zealand, Wyoming to Cuba and Utah to Tunisia. And Nebraska, in this comparison, is nose to nose with the Dominican Republican, a place with double the population.

The report focuses on the “dirtiest” power plants, and by the measure of carbon dioxide, the worst of the worst is a plant at Juliette, Ga., operated by Georgia Power, followed by one inIndian operated by Duke Energy.

Wyoming has two in the top 50: PacificCorp’s Jim Bridger plant near Rock Springs, which is No. 17 in terms of total emissions, followed by Laramie River Station at No. 30. The latter is at Wheatland and is owned by Basin Electric but also Tri-State Generation and Transmission, a major supplier of cooperatives in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, but also Nebraska.

Colorado two biggest power plants barely miss the top 50: Craig Station, operated by its primary owner, Tri-State G&T, comes in at No. 52 in the nation, and the Comanche complex owned primarily by Public Service Co. of Colorado (a subsidiary of Xcel Energy) is No. 54.


About Allen Best

Allen Best is a Colorado-based journalist. He publishes a subscription-based e-zine called Mountain Town News, portions of which are published on the website of the same name, and also writes for a variety of newspapers and magazines.
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