Fuel Pollution and Statistics
Fossil fuels give
of a ton of pollution... let me rephrase that. Fossil fuels give off
MILLIONS of tons of pollution! Below are some stats that show us a
change is necessary, and a movement towards clean energy is the way to go!
Fossil fuel-fired electric power plants constitute the largest source
of air pollution in the U.S. Based on real data from DOE sources, here are
some striking facts about power plant pollution.
The U.S. uses fossil fuels to generate more than 2/3 of its electricity.
51% is generated with coal, 15% is generated with natural gas, and 3% is
generated with petroleum.
In 1999, electric power plants produced approximately 2.2 billion tons of
carbon dioxide, 12 million tons of sulfur dioxide, and 7 million tons of
The average coal-fired power plant is only 1/3 efficient, meaning 2/3 of
the energy in the fuel is wasted.
The average fossil fuel-fired power plant was built in 1964, long before
the Clean Air Act began requiring pollution controls.
Of the largest 1000 fossil fuel-fired power plants in the U.S., 77% are
not subject to pollution controls under the Clean Air Act's New Source
On average, power plants that are subject to New Source Review
requirements emit much less sulfur dioxide per megawatt-hour of energy