North Carolina ranks 12th in the nation for carbon dioxide emissions, a Raleigh environmental advocacy group said this week on the eve of imminent federal rules to limit C02 emissions from power plants.
The data issued by Environment North Carolina is based on on 2011 greenhouse gas emissions from Duke Energy and Progress Energy coal-burning power plants, as reported by the utilities to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
However, the 2-year-old data is already out of date as the state's energy landscape is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Progress Energy is phasing out aging coal-burning plants and shifting to natural gas as part of a corporate strategy to get ahead of greenhouse gas restrictions long expected from U.S. environmental regulators.
Now, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is about to issue those rules Sept. 20. The emissions restrictions will apply to newly built power plants but not to existing plants.