WASHINGTON, D.C., March 19, 2008 -- Last year, carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in the country rose 2.9 percent, the largest year-to-year increase since 1998, spurring the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) to call for immediate action to cut emissions.
While companies and governments try to figure out how to make drastic cuts over the coming decades, they must also take action now to bring emissions down, the nonprofit EIP says in an analysis of U.S. EPA data.
Culled from the EPA's Clean Air Markets emissions database, recent data shows Texas had the most CO2 emissions in 2007 as well as the biggest increase in emissions for 2006-2007, the last five years and the last 10 years. The nine states with the next highest carbon emissions last year are Ohio, Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama and West Virginia. The EIP's report contains tables showing the top 10 states with the largest one-, five- and ten-year increases in carbon emissions.
The increase in emissions is blamed partly on higher demand for electricity, but also on older, coal-fired plants, which need more heat to generate electricity. The EIP is calling for aged, fossil fuel-based plants to be replaced with renewable energy sources as well as cutting down demand for energy through better building practices and efforts like weatherizing low-income homes and using efficient home and business appliances.