|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||October 20, 2006|
Mark Wenzler, Clean Air Program Director, NPCA, 202-223-6722, ext. 101
Boo! Phantom Loads Linked to Haunted Air in America's National Parks
Conservation Group Connects Curbing Parks Air Pollution to New Energy Direction
Washington, DC – The nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today told Congress, the Administration, and concerned citizens a haunted tale of phantom loads and ghastly air pollution in America’s national parks.
"It’s frightening that one in three of our national parks is polluted," said NPCA Clean Air Director Mark Wenzler. "But there are ways Congress, the Administration, and concerned citizens alike can help to curb air pollution in our national treasures—and it starts with a more balanced approach on energy."
Phantom loads are electricity produced from power adaptors for household items, such as stereos, computers, and cell phone chargers, even when not charging electronics. When household electronics or appliances are turned off, power and energy is still being sapped, like a phantom—spooky! Killing these phantom loads by manually unplugging DVD players, computers, and cell phone chargers around the house when they’re not being used or using power strips could save consumers big money on their average electricity bills and could also curb air pollution in our national parks.
IdealBite.com notes: "If all phantom loads in US homes were stopped, we could shut down 17 power plants."
Power plants are America’s largest industrial source of air pollution in the national parks. National parks from Mammoth Cave in Kentucky to Yellowstone and Grand Teton in Wyoming to Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee to Shenandoah in Virginia have all been impacted by air pollution from power plants. What’s more, the country is poised to build a whole new generation of power plants based on outdated designs, which threaten to erase decades of hard-fought improvements to national park air quality.
"Fighting against air pollution in our national parks doesn’t have to be a nightmare," said Wenzler. "As with phantom loads, some of the solutions are relatively simple and just take a new approach to how we meet our energy needs."
New research from NPCA, Turning Point, offers several recommendations for cleaning the air in our national parks, including cleaning up power plants, requiring new power plants to use the lowest polluting technologies, promoting clean, renewable domestic energy supplies, and encouraging concerned citizens to minimize their contribution to air pollution in the parks—ghost-busting phantom loads at home is one example.