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‘Dirtiest’ power plants inefficient

A report released Tuesday by a Massachusetts environmental advocacy group shows the nation’s 50 dirtiest power plants accounted for about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions released by the US power industry in 2011, but produced just 16 percent of country’s electricity.

The data, Environment Massachusetts said, underscore the need for stringent federal standards that limit carbon emissions from power plants. Carbon dioxide is considered a major contributor to climate change, which many scientists say will result in rising sea levels and devastating weather events if it goes unchecked.

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Texas is home to seven of the 50 dirtiest power plants named, while another 13 are located in the Midwest. No plants in New England made the list.

The Environment Massachusetts report comes just days before the Sept. 20 deadline — set by President Obama following the release of his climate action plan earlier this summer — for the Environmental Protection Agency to propose standards for greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. The group’s report urges federal environmental officials to meet that deadline, and a June 2014 deadline to propose emissions standards for existing power plants.

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