Texas still biggest carbon polluter despite national decline

Source: Associated Press • Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013

Carbon dioxide emissions declined both nationwide and in Texas last year, but the Lone Star State still leads the country in greenhouse gas pollution, according to a federal report released Wednesday.

The decrease is largely due to a shift from burning coal to natural gas and a slight drop in electricity production. Using data from more than 8,000 facilities required to report their carbon emissions to the agency, the results showed a 4.5 percent drop in emissions nationwide

Although Texas dropped its emissions from stationary sources by 3.4 percent, the state still emitted more than double the carbon dioxide of any other state: more than 392 million metric tons. Indiana ranked second with 155.1 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The emissions are increasingly contributing to a temperature rise in the state. Texas’ average temperature has risen 1 degree Fahrenheit in the last 30 years.

“We have a special responsibility to our citizens because we also lead the nation in many of the results in terms of drought and agricultural losses, violent storms, and torrential rains, all of which cost Texas billions of dollars, and it’s only going to get worse as the climate warms,” said Tom Smith, the Texas director of Public Citizen, a nonpartisan lobbying group.

“The good news is Texas has the ability to resolve this problem by increasing the use of renewables. We’re No. 1 in total potential,” Smith added