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Carbon Dioxide Emissions by State

Discover how much carbon dioxide your state produces

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the state’s carbon footprint, according to the October Choose Energy analysis of the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Texas produces about 13% of the nation’s carbon dioxide, according to the numbers.

The Lone Star State’s 683 million metric tons of carbon dioxide produced in 2019 was more than double the amount emitted in California, the second-largest producer.

Following is a state-by-state look at the amount of carbon dioxide produced during 2019 and the previous year, as well as the percentage increase or decrease from the year 2000 and the percentage increase or decrease from 2018:

Another way of measuring carbon emissions

Because some states are more populous, they produce greater amounts of carbon dioxide. We control for this by measuring the carbon dioxide per capita — metric tons of emissions per person in each state.

Which states are improving their carbon footprint? Which aren’t?

Nationally, carbon dioxide emissions have fallen 12% compared with 2000 levels. And since 2018, emissions have decreased by 2.6% across the country.

The state where levels have fallen the most since 2000 is Maine.

Unfortunately, levels haven’t gone down in every state. Following are states where carbon dioxide emissions have increased since 2000:

There are four states that have experienced a significant percentage increase in carbon dioxide emissions since 2018, including Washington, New Mexico, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

There were also several states that showed a meaningful decrease in emissions since 2018. The top states for decreased carbon emissions were Arkansas, Maryland, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Indiana.

Where does the carbon dioxide originate?

Nationally, transportation is responsible for the largest chunk of carbon dioxide emissions — 37.6%. But the generation of electricity is the second-largest offender, with 31.2%.

Following is a percentage breakdown by sector for each state’s carbon dioxide emissions:

Where does your state rank among the largest producers?

While generating electricity produces the highest percentage of carbon dioxide emissions in most states, West Virginia experiences that to the extreme because it relies on coal. Louisiana generates more than half of its CO2 from industrial uses. See where your state ranks among the largest producers in each sector:

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Photo credit: Shutterstock

(Last updated October 10, 2022)