Even though Florida is known for its sunshine, we have the third-worst carbon* pollution of any state, at least according to one report.
A citizen advocacy group, Environment Florida, released a report today called "America's Dirtiest Power Plants." Environment Florida used 2011 federal data to rank the dirtiest power plants nationwide. Florida ranks third in electric power sector emissions, particularly in carbon dioxide.
The top polluting power plant is Duke Energy's Crystal River Plant, which is up for retirement. The second most polluting power plant is TECO's Big Bend in Apollo Beach.
Environment Florida spokeswoman Jennifer Rubiello said these findings shouldn't be ignored.
"If we want a cleaner, safer future for our kids, we can't afford to ignore power plants' overwhelming contribution to global warming," Rubiello said.
TECO spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs is disputing the report's claims.
"Tampa Electric, over a 10 year period, has invested more than $1.2 billion in state-of-the-art environmental improvement at our power plants including Big Bend," Jacobs said. "We have fully scrubbed the Big Bend power plant."
According to the study, Florida's power plants produce as much carbon dioxide yearly as almost 25 million cars.
It also states that Florida's power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution, making up 49 percent of statewide emissions.
The Worst 5 States in Power Plant Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Top 5 Most Polluting Power Plants in Florida
- Duke Energy's Crystal River (Crystal River)
- Tampa Electric Company's (TECO) Big Bend (Riverview)
- West County Energy Center (Palm Beach County)
- Seminole Electric Cooperative Inc's Seminole (Tampa)
- JEA's St. Johns River Power Park (Jacksonville)
*A previous version of this article incorrectly stated "air pollution." Air pollution encompasses more than only carbon.