The Environment And Atmospheric Impacts On Earth's Ecological Environment

1647 Words7 Pages
Looking off into the distance, stacks are jutting high into the sky. Even higher than those stacks, are the plumes that are being ejected from them. These plumes are filled with chemicals commonly known in the global climate world as emissions; these emissions deplete the ozone and are causing significant impacts on Earth’s ecological environment. Everyone is guilty of creating and releasing emissions. While individuals do have an impact, they do not have as large of an impact on the environment as power plants. Power plants are usually running 24 hours a day, seven days a week; this means they are producing emissions just as much. Power plants need to start finding a way to utilize sustainable energy sources because eventually,…show more content…
In 1993, a fourth unit was added; in addition to burning coal and natural gas, it can also burn a small amount of biofuel. Finally, in 2006, the last two units were added. The fifth unit is a steam turbine/generator and the sixth unit is a natural gas combustion turbine and companion waster heat/heat- recovery steam generator (“History” n.d.).
Producing approximately 100 megawatts per hour, this plant needs an exorbitant amount of fuel source to provide this energy (“Generating Power” n.d.). Since 1965, the fuel source for this power plant has largely been coal. MSU promotes itself as a green campus, and coal emits a large amounts of emissions; therefore, there has been a shift away from coal. Also, with the new EPA regulations, it would have cost more money to redesign the units to meet these standards burning coal than it would to switch to natural gas (“MSU to Stop” 2015). This is why by the end of 2016, MSU will be switching to natural gas as the main fuel source for this power plant. Instead of coal being the main fuel source, it will now be natural gas; using natural gas in place of coal will reduce emissions by approximately 50 percent (Pacala 2004, 969). This is a big step towards MSU’s goals of being a green campus and using sustainable energy. However, while natural gas has lower emissions, it does cost more than coal. In September of 2015, Powder River Basin Coal cost $537/MWh (megawatt hour) and Natural Gas Henry
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