States with the most CO2 emissions | Entertainment News
Although the United States has seen a 12% decrease in carbon dioxide emissions since 2005, according to EPA findings, the June 30, 2022, U.S. Supreme Court decision that hamstrings that agency from regulating carbon emissions effectively transferred the onus for the meaningful address of climate change onto the individual states.
Meanwhile, the carbon footprint of each respective state looks drastically different. While many states implemented solutions for decreasing total carbon emissions, other states have run into complications—particularly on the industrial level, as well as the use of transportation—that still require high usage of fossil fuels.
As energy consumption is a major factor in the production and release of CO2, Stacker cited 2019 data released in April 2022 from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to explore which states emit the most carbon dioxide from energy consumption. State-level figures are normalized on a per-capita basis.
A 2019 U.S. Energy Information Administration report found that from 2005-2016, 41 states successfully reduced their carbon emissions while emission levels rose in nine states. States with larger geographic areas, such as Texas and California, continued to lead the pack in terms of emission levels; in fact, Texas showed the highest overall emission increase during this period of any U.S. state. But there were also large states that lean heavily on automotive manufacturing and steel production that managed significant reductions. Case in point: Ohio dropped its emission level by 24% during the reporting period.
Carbon emissions refer to the production and release of greenhouse gas derived from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas for various human activities, among them electricity generation, transportation, and heat production. The burning of solid waste, trees, and other biological materials can also result in a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gas is primarily emitted in the form of carbon dioxide—79% of all emissions took this form as of 2020, according to the EPA—but methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gas are also contributors.
The U.S. Geological Survey found nearly one-quarter of carbon dioxide emissions (23.7%) come from fossil fuels extracted on public lands as of a 2018 report that covered the period 2005-2014, while the NOAA has tracked a steady increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since 1960, demonstrating that despite gains in carbon reduction in many areas of the country, levels generally continue to rise and along with them global atmospheric concentrations are causing increases in temperature.