Pennsylvania is second only to Texas in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and refineries, and two of the state’s top 10 polluters are facilities owned by PPL Corp. of Allentown, new federal data show.
Nationwide, the electric industry is responsible for the bulk of U.S. pollution blamed for global warming, according to the data, which were released Wednesday in the government’s first public catalog of individual polluters. Power plants accounted for 72 percent of the greenhouse gases reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for 2010.
Specifically, the main culprit is coal, which is as cheap as it is dirty. Twenty mostly coal-fired power plants in 15 states were among the worst polluters.
Among the biggest offenders in Pennsylvania were PPL’s Brunner Island plant in York County and its Montour plant in Montour County. Together, they spewed the equivalent of 18.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas.