Utah's power plants are the biggest polluters in the nation accounting for climate change, according to a new national greenhouse gas inventory. In the first-of-its-kind inventory of large facilities, 61 Utah power plants are responsible for releasing some 42 million metric tons of greenhouse gases a year.
Two coal-fired Utah plants, the Intermountain Power Plant and the Hunter facility, are ranked among the top 100 emitters out of 6,700 facilities in the country.
"The GHG Reporting Program data provides a critical tool for businesses and other innovators to find cost- and fuel-saving efficiencies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and foster technologies to protect public health and the environment," assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation Gina McCarthy told the Salt Lake Tribune.
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After efforts to develop controls for the pollution blamed for climate change under the Western Climate Initiative collapsed, a new climate-change organization, North America 2050, offers hope. The inventory will also boost the state's involvement, getting the industry and consumers on board in the path to making smarter energy decisions.
Sarah Wright of Utah Clean Energy told the Salt Lake Tribune that the inventory offers huge economic potential for the state to reduce energy waste and save homeowners and businesses on their energy bills.