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Apr 062009

From Green Right Now Reports

A softening economy and a milder-than-usual winter contributed to a decline in carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants in 2008, according to a new report from the Environmental Integrity Project.

EIP officials noted that the decrease is a departure from the recent trends, with power plant carbon dioxide emissions having risen 0.9 percent since 2003, and 4.5 percent since 1998, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Even with the national improvement in CO2 emissions, six states had increases in power plant emissions of 1 million tons or more from 2007 to 2008:

  • Oklahoma (3.1 million)
  • Iowa (1.8 million)
  • Texas (1.7 million)
  • Nebraska (1.3 million)
  • Illinois (1.1 million)
  • Washington (1.1 million)

“Unfortunately, one year of improved data does not mean that we are on the right path for carbon dioxide reduction from U.S. power plants. We clearly cannot afford a wave of conventional fossil-fired power plants that would only add tens of millions of tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year over the lifetimes of these new plants,” EIP Senior Attorney Ilan Levin said in a statement. “If the United States is serious about curbing greenhouse gas pollution and meeting the goals that the scientific community says are needed, then many of the nation’s dirtiest power plants will either need to be cleaned up or retired. We have no time to lose.”

The 10 states that emitted the most CO2 in 2008, measured in total tons, are: Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, and West Virginia.

The 10 states with the largest CO2 increases over the past 10 years (from 1998 to 2008) are:

  • Texas (26.9 million tons)
  • Arizona (22.6 million)
  • California (18.8 million)
  • Georgia (17.7 million)
  • Illinois (17.7 million)
  • Oklahoma (16.6 million)
  • Alabama (8.9 million)
  • South Carolina (7.5 million)
  • Colorado (6.7 million)
  • Iowa (6 million)