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Nation’s top 100 power plants cut carbon emissions 12%

Interstate Power and Light's coal-fired plant in Ottumwa, Iowa. The company agreed to drastically cut pollution at several coal-fired power plants under a Clean Air Act settlement.

Interstate Power and Light’s coal-fired plant in Ottumwa, Iowa. The company agreed to drastically cut pollution at several coal-fired power plants under a Clean Air Act settlement.

(Matt Milner / Associated Press)

The nation’s top 100 power plants, including those run by power companies in the Los Angeles region, reduced their collective carbon emissions 12% from 2008 to 2013, according to a report released Thursday.

Though emissions have fallen in recent years, carbon produced by the largest power plants was 14% higher than in 1990, the report by Ceres said.

In its 54-page report, Ceres, an Boston organization that advocates for public policies on climate change and other environmental issues, stated that emissions are expected to decline further as power companies retire coal-fired plants and install pollution controls on facilities that continue to operate.

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Over the last two years, carbon emissions have basically been flat, the report states, but efforts such as the federal Clean Power Plan are expected to further reduce emissions from the power companies.

Ceres reported that the electricity produced by the top 100 power plants generate 40% of their electricity from coal-fired units; 28% natural gas; 19% nuclear; 7% renewable sources such as solar and wind; and 7% hydro.

In 2013, the top 100 power plants, determined by the amount of power they generate, produced 61% of carbon emissions.

Follow Ivan Penn on Twitter at @ivanlpenn.


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