Coal-fired Utility Emissions Continue to Decline

Published July 1, 1997

Emissions from U.S. electric utilities are continuing to decline, and within a decade “utility sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions will be capped and reduced by about 50 percent, despite a tripling of coal use since 1970,” according to the Edison Electric Institute (EEI).

EEI said the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest emissions report, National Air Quality and Emissions Trends Report 1995, demonstrates “that just one year into the Title IV SO2 program, utilities are already well on their way to meeting the requirements of the law.”

“In 1995, utilities lowered SO2 emissions far beyond the requirements of the law. . . . By the year 2010, national SO2 emissions will be at their lowest level in 100 years (except for a brief period during the Great Depression). In 2010, on the average, a utility burning a ton of coal will emit only 18 percent as much SO2 as in 1970,” EEI said.

“Utility nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions in 1995 were down almost 1.5 million tons (19 percent) from 1994, partially due to early compliance with Title IV and also due to Title I efforts, which address attainment of the ozone standard,” EEI said.

“Utilities reduced the national average NOX emissions rate for coal-fired electricity by 45 percent from 1970 to 1995. This is before the majority of Title IV-mandated NOX reductions, which will be completed by 2000,” EEI said.

PF: Reprinted from the May 5, 1997 issue of Mining Week. For additional information on U.S. coal-fired electric utilities, call PolicyFax at 847/202-4888. Request documents #2322101 “What You Should Know About U.S. Coal” (3 pages); #2322102 “Energy: Linchpin of the Future” (3 pages); #2322103 “The Coming of the Coal Revolution” (3 pages); #2322105 “Coal, Electricity, and a Sustainable Future” (3 pages); #2322107 “U.S. is World’s Second-Largest Coal Producer” (3 pages); and #2322108 “Coal-Fired Plants among Lowest-Cost Power Producers” (2 pages).