Quantcast

Find Out Which State Contributes Most to Climate Change

Climate

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the 2013 figures for its Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, now in its fourth year. These figures show which states, as well as which industry sectors and which individual businesses, produce the most climate change-inducing greenhouse gas emissions. The undisputed winner—or loser, if you prefer—is Texas, with its well-established oil drilling industry and its rapidly growing fracked gas sector.

With its extensive oil drilling and gas fracking industries, Texas leads the nation in greenhouse gas emissions.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Moyers & Company reporter John Light writes, "Texas also produces and consumes more energy than any state in the union. The energy Texas creates comes largely, but not entirely, from its oil and natural gas reserves. And the state’s biggest consumers of energy are the refining and chemical industries, which, in many cases, support the state’s fossil fuel extraction efforts and have some of the most energy-intensive operations in the US."

Texas far outpaced second-place finisher Indiana with more than double the amount of emissions. Texas produced more than 442 million metric tons of emissions; Indiana produced just under 260 million tons. Rounding out the top five were Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Ohio. On a per capital basis, Wyoming was the leader, with North Dakota and West Virginia not far behind. All three states have extensive fossil fuel extraction industries.

Power plants were the top source of greenhouse gas emissions with more than 1,500 plants spewing 2.1 billion tons of carbon emissions, almost a third of the country's carbon pollution. Two huge power plants in the southeast led by a long shot, with the Scherer Steam Generating Plant outside Macon, Georgia, first with 22.3 metric tons of emissions, followed by Birmingham, Alabama's James H. Miller Jr. power plant with 21.9 million tons.

Texas produces and consumes more energy than any state in the union. Photo credit: Moyers & Company

The EPA's survey also found that while emissions declined from 2011-2013, they ticked up again slightly in the latest reporting. Both the decline and uptick were tied to declines and upticks from power plants. It found that power plant emissions have declined almost 10 percent since 2010, despite a small increase (0.6 percent) in the latest reporting.

Climate change, fueled by greenhouse gas pollution, is threatening our health, our economy and our way of life—increasing our risks from intense extreme weather, air pollution, drought and disease,” said U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “EPA is supporting the President’s Climate Action Plan by providing high-quality greenhouse gas data to inform effective climate action.”

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

50 Dirtiest U.S. Power Plants Huge Contributor to Carbon Emissions

Obama and EPA Release Historic Carbon Reduction Plan to Fight Climate Change

7 in 10 Voters Support Strong Carbon Pollution Limits on Power Plants

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Ryan Hagerty / USFWS

It's become a familiar story with the Trump administration: Scientists write a report that shows the administration's policies will cause environmental damage, then the administration buries the report and fires the scientists.

Read More Show Less
Valerie / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A coalition of some of the largest environmental groups in the country joined forces to file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Trump administration's maneuver to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
beyond foto / Getty Images

By Kimberly Holland

Children who eat a lot of gluten in their earliest years may have an increased risk of developing celiac disease and gluten intolerance, according to a new study published in JAMATrusted Source.

Read More Show Less
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the U.S. and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled today a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.

Read More Show Less
orientalizing / Flickr

The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.

Read More Show Less

Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro is giving President Trump a run for his money in the alternative facts department.

Read More Show Less
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his 2019 State of the State address on Jan. 15. Governor Jay and First Lady Trudi Inslee / Flickr

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who made solving the climate crisis the center of his presidential campaign, is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary race.

Read More Show Less