David W. Crane

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David W. Crane has been president and chief executive officer of NRG Energy since 2003. From January 2003 to November 2003, he served as chief executive officer of International Power plc, a UK-based wholesale power generation company. He was chief operating officer at International Power from March 2000 to December 2002. Previously Crane was a Senior Vice President of Global Power at Lehman Brothers.[1]

Crane earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.[1]


In May 2007, Forbes listed Crane as receiving $12.29 million in total compensation for the latest fiscal year, with a three-year total compensation of $18.49 million. He ranked 6th on the list of CEOs in the Utilities industry, and 151st out of all CEOs in the United States.[2]

NRG Power portfolio

Out of its total 27,895 MW of electric generating capacity in 2005 (2.61% of the U.S. total), NRG produced 52.9% from natural gas, 31.0% from coal, 15.9% from oil, and 0.2% from biomass. NRG owns power plants in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas; 49.9% of the company's generating capacity comes from plants in Texas.[3]

Proposed coal plants



Existing coal-fired power plants

NRG owned 26 coal-fired generating stations in 2005, with 8,657 MW of capacity. Here is a list of NRG's coal power plants with capacity over 100 MW:[3][4][5]

Plant Name State County Year(s) Built Capacity 2007 CO2 Emissions 2006 SO2 Emissions
Parish TX Fort Bend 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982 2697 MW 20,000,000 tons 56,438 tons
Big Cajun 2 LA Pointe Coupee 1981, 1982, 1983 1871 MW 14,300,000 tons 44,556 tons
Limestone TX Limestone 1985, 1986 1706 MW 13,300,000 tons 15,917 tons
Huntley NY Erie 1942, 1948, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1958 816 MW 3,659,000 tons 12,299 tons
Indian River DE Sussex 1957, 1959, 1970, 1980 782 MW 3,558,000 tons 20,705 tons
Dunkirk NY Chautauqua 1950, 1959, 1960 592 MW 3,786,000 tons 10,072 tons
Somerset MA Bristol 1951, 1959 174 MW 844,000 tons N/A

In 2006, NRG's 7 major coal-fired power plants emitted 59.4 million tons of CO2 (1.00% of all U.S. CO2 emissions) and at least 160,000 tons of SO2 (1.07% of all U.S. SO2 emissions).

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from NRG Energy coal plants

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[6] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[7]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from NRG Energy coal plants

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 223 $1.6 billion
Heart attacks 354 $38.6 million
Asthma attacks 3896 $202.6 thousand
Chronic bronchitis 140 $62.2 million
Asthma ER visits 200 $73.9 thousand
Hospital admissions 170 $3.95 million

Source: "Health Impacts - annual - of Existing Plants," Clean Air Task Force Excel worksheet, available under "Data Annex" at "Death and Disease from Power Plants," Clean Air Task Force.

Note: This data includes the following plants owned by NRG Energy: Big Cajun II Power Plant, Huntley Generating Station (existing), Dunkirk Steam Station, Indian River Power Station, Limestone Generating Station, Long Beach Generation LLC, Somerset Power Generating Station and Parish Generating Station.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Biography: David Crane, NRG Energy, accessed December 2008.
  2. CEO Compensation: #151 David W Crane, Forbes.com, May 3, 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed April 2008.
  4. Environmental Integrity Project, Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants, July 2007.
  5. Dig Deeper, Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed June 2008.
  6. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  7. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

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