As America burns more fossil fuels, new estimates show that the country’s largest coal company is the biggest coal polluter.
The Los Angeles Times published a report Thursday that found that West Virginia’s Peabody Energy owns coal mines in Appalachia that use as much as a third of the countrys annual carbon emissions.
The study also showed that Peaboys coal reserves were the largest of any U.S. coal company.
The Times report was based on an analysis of government data that shows the total amount of carbon released into the atmosphere from the United States’ coal sector since 1990.
According to the study, the average Peaboy coal mine emits an average of 8.2 billion tons of carbon per year, more than twice the EPA’s annual target of 6.6 billion tons.
The Peabods coal-fired power plant in Wyoming is among the most polluting coal plants in the United State.
The state has the highest concentration of coal-burning power plants in North America, according to the report.
The company is owned by the Koch brothers, a conservative political action group that is funded by the oil and gas industry.
The group’s president and CEO, Charles Koch, is a billionaire who has donated millions to Republican candidates.
The Times report notes that Peays coal mine in Wyoming has a coal ash ponds that dump up to 30 million tons of toxic waste into the water every year.
The paper noted that this is more than the waste that the coal company releases into the air each year.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Post, Peabodys CEO, Peter Schmitz, acknowledged that coal waste releases are a problem, but he said the company was committed to “reducing” the coal ash discharge.
In his own comments, Schmits said Peabodies coal ash plant in New York was the largest in the world, but said the amount of coal ash released into nearby waterways was “small compared to the amount released in the rest of the world.”
According to Schmitzes comments, the coal that was released into New York’s Hudson River is treated and recycled, while the coal from Peabones mine is treated in a treatment plant and released into waterways.
He said the pollution released into a neighboring stream is not a significant problem.
“We have zero problems,” he said.
Schmitz also said the Peabots coal ash facility in Wyoming was “not a particularly large one” and that it was “probably” the most efficient in the country, adding that the company “could have done more” to reduce the waste.