Thursday, March 22, 2007

What We Don't Know about "Clean" Coal in Delaware

NRG, which wants to expand operations at its coal powered electric plant in Sussex County, is claiming that its proposal now before the Public Service Commission (PSC) will reduce air emissions. How much is none of your business.
The News Journal reports that NRG has filed suit against the PSC to block release of environmental data related to the company's proposal. NRG's refusal to provide meaningful projections of future emissions make it impossible to independently evaluate the company's claims.
The illustration below from NRG's redacted proposal purports to show the expected reduction in air emissions:
Let's review what we don't know from looking at the chart. We don't know what emissions are measured. We don't know the scale or the base year. We don't know if this chart projects emissions in the company's proposal under current law or if it shows emissions using a future carbon capture technology.
We don't even know if the illustrated reductions represents the new proposal or a combination of the new generating equipment combined with controls the company has already proposed to reduce mercury emissions, as noted here in April of last year.
What we do know is that NRG is the perennial number one when it comes to air emissions in Delaware. Anything else, given the company's refusal to release the most elementary environmental data, is guesswork.


Blogger mmahaffie said...

Indeed. That's just the silliest looking chart I've seen. It occurs to me that, if you are going to redact, bear in mind that people will eventually be looking at your censored documents. At least make it look professional.

10:07 PM, March 22, 2007  
Blogger Nancy Willing said...

Wow, the courtroom is the last refuge for asshats.

12:28 PM, March 23, 2007  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

Even if we ever see the chart in unredacted form, it won't tell us much. It features only six data points, while far more information about the plant's emissions can be found online.

Emissions from the NRG plant have varied considerably over the last several years. A more revealing chart would include several years of actual emissions data and several years of projected emissions. This chart is so uninformative that blacking it out seems redundant.

8:31 AM, March 24, 2007  

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