Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Clean Air Watch report: free carbon credits would extend life of old coal-burning power plants

As Congress continues to debate what to do about global warming, we have published a new report on one of the biggest political roadblocks -- coal-burning electric power companies.

The results are pretty sobering:

--nearly three-quarters of existing coal-burning power plants (72%) were built in the 1970s or earlier.
--the average age of existing coal-burning plants is nearly 35 – and would be close to 40 before any controls were required under the legislation under investigation.
--giving away free carbon emission permits or “allocations” to coal-burning power plants would not only boost the profits of plant owners, but would extend the life of the coal-burning plants themselves.

It’s almost as if we would be creating some sort of reverse Social Security program for big polluters: instead of encouraging them to retire, we’d be encouraging them to keep working – and polluting.

The entire report is on our main website at http://www.cleanairwatch.org/Documents%20&%20Reports/Americas_Aging_Power_Plants.pdf

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