May newsletter: America’s top climate polluters

May 2023 newsletter

W.A. Parish power plant, Thompsons, Texas

America’s dirtiest industrial facilities

Just 50 facilities across the U.S. emitted more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in 2021 than every individual state except Texas, according to our recent analysis of climate emissions based on required reporting to the EPA. Forty-five of the 50 facilities are fossil fuel power plants, mostly coal and/or gas plants. The top polluting facility alone does more damage to the climate than the entire state of Maine. Our report was published just before the Biden administration proposed new regulations to clean up dirty power plants.

Navin Tar |

Warehouses: an untapped solar opportunity

Putting solar panels on the roofs of America’s bigger warehouses could generate enough electricity to power 19.4 million homes each year. Our analysis with Environment America Research & Policy Center, Solar on Warehouses, found that there are over 450,000 medium and large warehouses in the U.S., with a collective rooftop area of 16.4 billion square feet. Generating all of the potential warehouse rooftop solar electricity could help reduce climate emissions from electricity generation equivalent to taking 24 million gas-powered cars off the road each year. The analysis was covered by The Hill, CleanTechnica and Electrek.

The top toxic water polluters in each state

Building off Wasting our Waterways 2022, released last September, we mapped the top toxic water polluting facilities of 2020 in each state in a new interactive tool. Use it to figure out which power plants, mines or industrial facilities dumped the most toxic chemicals into waterways in your state, and where they are.

Food for thought

Analyst James Horrox considers the benefits of urban trees and new federal funding to plant them … Senior Analyst Tony Dutzik explains why we shouldn’t (and don’t have to) pit clean energy and conservation against each other … An op-ed by Tony Dutzik and Environment America’s Lisa Frank in The Hill explores the “permitting reform” debate, and why changes to regulations cannot allow more fossil fuel development … With PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center, we reported on the 12 largest climate polluting facilities in Pennsylvania … We also investigated the 10 most-toxic industrial air polluters in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and created an interactive map that includes data on the health effects of the chemicals released – and the communities affected by the pollution.


Susan Rakov

Managing Director, Frontier Group; Senior Vice President, The Public Interest Network

Susan directs Frontier Group, the research and policy development center for The Public Interest Network. Frontier Group’s work informs the public discussion about degradations to the environment and public health, threats to consumer rights and democracy, and the available routes to a better future. Susan lives in Santa Barbara, California; she has two children, a husband, and a dog, and is an amateur singer/songwriter.

Find Out More