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Aaron Cake said:
Even the dirtiest coal fired plant is much cleaner then the equivelant amount of gas cars running around.
No. The article you linked quoted a 96% reduction in HC's, 99% in CO, and 67% in NOx. It also quoted a 203% increase in SO2 (that's 3x as much) and a 122% increase in particulates (over 2x as much).

I don't know what kind of cars they are using and where they got their numbers. For example, how old are the numbers? What sort of cars are they for? The article talks about improvements to power plants but not to cars... LEV, ULEV, SULEV, there are big drops in pollution outputs for each of these standards. Did they use a modern standard or something else?

That said, if we take their numbers on faith and treating all pollutants as equals, the % increase in SO2 output is enough to offset the % drop of both HC and CO combined, and the particulate increase exceeds the decrease in NOx. I would call that an increase in pollution.

Furthermore, that's not just for coal, but for the full U.S. power mix. So the case for the "dirtiest coal fired power plant" is even worse. With the recent EPA decisions relaxing rules on old power plants, this is not necessarily going to improve.
 
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