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Toxic releases: An environmental performance index for coal-fired power plants

  • Färe, Rolf
  • Grosskopf, Shawna
  • Pasurka, Carl Jr.

In order to assess the performance of electric power plants that produce both good and bad outputs, this study uses data from the toxic release inventory to construct an Environmental Performance Index (EPI). Färe, Grosskopf, and Pasurka (2006) demonstrated that for the one good output and one air pollutant case, the EPI simplifies to the ratio of good to bad output. In this paper, we extend the EPI to include an index of multiple bad outputs. After deriving the index as a Malmquist Quantity Index, we assemble data from 1998 to 2005 on releases of selected toxic chemicals and electricity generation for a sample of coal-fired power plants in the United States to demonstrate how the EPI can provide initial perspectives on trends in releases of toxic chemicals by coal-fired power plants.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 158-165

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:32:y:2010:i:1:p:158-165
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  1. Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Maxwell, 2007. "Public Voluntary Programs Reconsidered," Working Papers 2007-07, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  2. Fare, R. & Grosskopf, S. & Hernandez-Sancho, F., 2004. "Environmental performance: an index number approach," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 343-352, December.
  3. Scott Marchi & James Hamilton, 2006. "Assessing the Accuracy of Self-Reported Data: an Evaluation of the Toxics Release Inventory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 57-76, January.
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