US Power-Plant, CO2 Emissions Up 5.6% In 2010 - Top Ten Emitter States Named

top ten co2 emitting states electricity image

Top-ten US states for power plant CO2 emissions, 2009 & 2010.
Image credit:Environmental Integrity press release and final report.

Citing USEPA-gathered data, the non-partisan, activist group Environmental Integrity reports that in 2010, carbon dioxide emissions from US power plants rose 5.56% over year prior. The top-ten states for cumulative CO2 emissions from power plants are as listed above.

The top-seven listed States also are major coal producers.

Thar's also some politics in them numbers. Can you guess which political party dominates in all ten? I thought so. When does the party of 'no' become the party of 'no-more coal?' Not for a long time by the looks of things.Coal Geology reports some good and bad news, based on a review of the same data:

Coal-fired generation rose 5.2 percent in the 12 months ending November 30, 2010, growing at a faster pace than the overall 3 percent increase in net generation over the same period. But net generation of wind-powered electricity, although a much smaller fraction of total output, rose from 73.6 to 92.7 million megawatts, for a 26 percent increase through the end of November last year. Net generation from natural gas fired plants, which release less than half as much carbon dioxide as coal plants on a per megawatt basis, rose 6.8 percent over the same period.

Perspective on Texas and the Nation.
Texas, which has a very energy intensive and strong manufacturing base, has been holding it's own economically, in spite of having suffered the same housing crash the rest of the states did.

Texas has added power generation capacity to feed real, not hoped-for, demand. The politics of Texas defend the economy of Texas, in other words. They are the Coal Alamo.

Keep in mind that when other states recover their industrial economy and jobs start to come back, those same states could push for coal-fired electricity capacity expansions and push back hard against EPA regulations perceived as limiting that recovery.

The pressure is on to offer alternatives that satisfy the real needs of power-intensive manufacturing. 'If we don't find a way, they'll go offshore,' will be the argument. This needs more attention. A picture of a solar panel on a K-Mart does not cut it.

How can an organization be characterized as 'non-partisan' when the largest targets of its activism are backed by a single political party? This is a hard nut to crack.