An environmental group ranked Texas among the nation’s worst industrial polluters.
The National Resources Defense Council said in a report that Texas pumped 41.4 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air in 2010, meaning the electricity sector accounting for roughly 25 percent of the state’s pollution.
The Lone Star State ranked 10th, up three spots from 2009, according to the NRDC. Energy Future Holdings’ Big Brown plant ranked as the top polluter in Texas in 2010 with more than 4 million pounds of toxins.
Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania topped the list.
The report, dubbed “The Toxic Twenty,” also noted that Texas was one of eight states where both senators opposed new Environmental Protection Agency regulations aimed at reduce air pollution across state borders and mercury from industrial plants.
Texas officials have argued those regulations will stifle the economy, cut jobs and could cause electricity shortages during peak summer months. The government has routinely said the regulations are necessary to protect residents from toxic air pollution.
There is something to cheer about across Texas.
Texas might rank among the top polluters, but the state’s power plants didn’t come close to the top polluters in the country. The Lone Star State didn’t have a plant within the top 10 polluters, which heavily featured plants in Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Tennessee Valley Authority’s Paradise Plant in Kentucky topped the list with 7.8 million pounds of toxins.
Of the top 10 polluters, four are expected to retire or already have been retired, according to the report.