Although the United States has recorded a 12% decrease in carbon dioxide emissions since 2005, according to the EPA’s findings, the June 30, 2022 United States Supreme Court decision that prevents this agency from regulating carbon emissions has effectively shifted responsibility for meaningful action against climate change. change on individual states.
Meanwhile, the carbon footprint of each respective state looks dramatically different. While many states have implemented solutions to reduce total carbon emissions, other states have faced complications, particularly at the industrial level, as well as at the level of transportation use, which require still high use of fossil fuels.
As energy use is a major factor in the production and release of CO2, Stacker cited 2019 data released in April 2022 by the US 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 US Energy Information Administration report found that between 2005 and 2016, 41 states successfully reduced their carbon emissions while emission levels increased in nine states. States with larger geographies, such as Texas and California, continued to lead the pack in emissions levels; in fact, Texas had the largest overall increase in emissions during this period of any US state. But there were also large states that rely heavily on auto manufacturing and steel production that managed deep cuts. Example: Ohio lowered its emissions level by 24% during the reference period.
Carbon emissions refer to the production and release of greenhouse gases from the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas for various human activities, including electricity generation, transport and heat production. Burning solid waste, trees, and other biological materials can also cause a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are primarily emitted as carbon dioxide – 79% of all emissions took this form in 2020, according to the EPA – but methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases are also contributors .
The US Geological Survey found that almost a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions (23.7%) come from fossil fuels extracted on public lands according to 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 carbon reduction gains in many parts of the country, levels generally continue to rise and, with them, global atmospheric concentrations are driving increases in temperature.