Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tennessee Cracks the Top 20

Our smoggy state is ranked 17th in in the nation in carbon emissions due largely to our coal-burning power plants. The Tennessean reports that smaller counties are the worst polluters:
A handful of hotspots around Tennessee are pumping millions of tons of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas and a leading cause of global warming, into the atmosphere each year. And some of the smallest counties are leaving the biggest carbon footprints.

Sumner County will produce millions of tons of carbon dioxide this year, compared to the 123,435 tons that will come out of power plants in its more populous neighbor, Davidson County.

This year alone, the coal-fired smokestacks of the TVA’s Gallatin power plant will produce enough power to light 300,000 homes — along with 6.8 million tons of CO2.

The majority of Tennesseans get their power from coal-burning plants, which means that every time they flip a light switch, they’re burning coal, and producing greenhouse gasses.
Besides turning our unused lights off and buying more efficient appliances, how are we going to break the cycle on a large scale?


  1. Nuclear power, which is used to a much larger degree by our European allies.

  2. Better than nuclear (which is not really "clean" considering our lack of safe ways to dispose of its emissions), is signing up for TVA's Green Power Switch.

    Unfortunately, this winds up being punitive to people choosing to volunteer to use alternative and renewal energy sources.

    I think it would be great if TVA announced a 5-year signup period, after which anyone who did not participate would have higher electric bills.