Date: June 12, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Although fossil fuels--coal, natural gas, and oil--account for more than two thirds of the nation's electricity, generating units that burn these fuels are major sources of airborne emissions that pose health and environmental risks. To limit emissions and protect air quality, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from a variety of sources including electricity generating units that burn fossil fuels, other industrial sources, and automobiles. Older electricity generating units--those that began operating before 1972--emit 59 percent of the sulfur dioxide, 47 percent of the nitrogen oxides, and 42 percent of all electricity produced by fossil-fuel units. Units that began operating in or after 1972 are responsible for the remainder of the emissions and electricity production. For equal quantities of electricity generated, older units, in the aggregate, emitted twice as much sulfur dioxide and 25 percent more nitrogen oxides than newer units which must meet the new source standards for these substances. Older and newer units emitted about the same amount of carbon dioxide for equal quantities of electricity generated. Of the older units, those in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Southeast ...
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