News Release

Manitou Springs Feeling the Heat of Global Warming Pollution from Power Plants

For Immediate Release

For Immediate Release: September 17th, 2013
Contact: Lindsey Wilson, (303) 573-3871 ext. 329, lindsey@environmentcolorado.org

Manitou Springs Feeling the Heat of Global Warming Pollution from Power Plants

Manitou Springs, CO – On the heels of raging wildfires and a summer of devastating floods, a new report from Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center finds that power plants are Colorado’s largest single source of carbon pollution. Scientists predict that extreme weather events like those that have impacted Manitou Springs and the surrounding area will become more frequent and severe for future generations, unless we cut the dangerous carbon pollution fueling the problem.

“America's dirtiest power plants are the elephant in the room when it comes to global warming," said Lindsey Wilson, Field Associate for Environment Colorado. "If we want a clean, safe future for our communities then we can't afford to ignore power plants' overwhelming contribution to global warming. For Colorado, tackling the problem means cleaning up the dirtiest power plants.”

The report, titled, ‘America’s Dirtiest Power Plants,’ comes as the Obama administration readies a new set of rules to tackle global warming. It illustrates the scale of carbon pollution from Colorado’s power sector and ranks Colorado’s biggest carbon polluters.

Key findings from the report include:

· In Colorado, the top five most polluting power plants are Tri-State’s Craig Plant, followed by the Public Service Company of Colorado’s Comanche plant, Cherokee plant, Pawnee plant, and Hayden plant.

· America’s power plants are its single largest source of carbon pollution - responsible for 40 percent of emissions nationwide.

· Tri-State’s Craig Plant is the 55th and Public Service Co of Colorado’s Comanche Plant is the 89th most carbon-polluting power plant in the nation.

· Colorado’s power plants produce as much carbon each year as 8.3 million cars.

Julia Wright is the owner of Commonwheel Art Cooperative in Manitou Springs that has been flooded twice this summer. The flooding has been accompanied by severe mud and rockslides due to the burn scar from last year’s Waldo Canyon fire. “With events like the massive floods here in Manitou Springs becoming more frequent and severe, Colorado business owners are only beginning to feel the impacts of global warming,” said Wright. “Things will only get worse for our communities if we fail to take swift and bold action now.”

This summer, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to propose limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants, the largest single source of carbon pollution. In a major step, the EPA is expected to propose an updated rule for cutting carbon pollution from new power plants on Friday, September 20.

“Scientists know that coal fired power plants are the largest contributors to the amount of carbon pollution in our air,” said Manitou Springs City Councilor, Coreen Toll, “How many more communities have to experience weather disasters before we wake up and demand a stop to these volatile emissions?”

Environment Colorado called on state leaders like Senators Udall and Bennet to join them in supporting limits on power plants’ carbon pollution. “Colorado communities can’t afford to wait to act on climate, so it’s critical that Senators Udall and Bennet step up and support action,” said Wilson.