Using more natural gas to make electricity and installing modern pollution controls on more coal plants slashed by 19% the nation's toxic air pollution in 2010, according to a new report from NRDC. See
http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/state/pennsylvania-improves-but-remains-near-bottom-in-air-quality-rankings-648390. Kudos to NRDC for putting together the data.
To make the news better, the 2010 data are no fluke. Even bigger reductions have happened in the last 19 months than took place in 2010.
In 2011 and 2012, the combination of using still more gas to make electricity, that emits essentially zero toxic air pollutants, and installing pollution controls at still more coal plants will slash toxic air emissions by about another 30% or more.
The shale gas revolution has environmental challenges. But it has enormous clean air and public health benefits too that this NRDC report documents.
The benefits of reducing substantially and quickly toxic air pollutants will be particularly big in Pennsylvania that has had through most of its history high amounts of toxic air pollution. Gas and modern pollution controls are ending those days and turning the page to a better environment and economy.