A fascinating story by Associated Press.
Some excerpts below:
States vary greatly in greenhouse gases
By The Associated PressFriday, June 1, 2007
WASHINGTON — As America struggles with its embarrassing title as world's leader in greenhouse gases, some states spew far more than their share and show no signs of slowing down.
• Wyoming's coal-fired power plants produce more carbon dioxide in just eight hours than the power generators of more populous Vermont do in a year.
• Texas, the leader in emitting this greenhouse gas, cranks out more than the next two biggest producers combined, California and Pennsylvania, which together have twice Texas' population.
• In sparsely populated Alaska, the carbon dioxide produced per person by all the flying and driving is six times the per capita amount generated by travelers in New York state.
In their daily lives, many Americans unwittingly contribute far more to global warming than their neighbors purely because of where they live. The Associated Press analyzed state-by-state emissions of carbon dioxide from 2003, the latest U.S. Energy Department numbers available. The review shows startling differences in states' contribution to climate change. The biggest reason is the burning of high-carbon coal to produce cheap electricity....
The disparity in carbon dioxide emissions is one of the reasons there is no strong national effort to reduce global warming gases, some experts say. National emissions dipped ever so slightly last year, but that was mostly because of mild weather, according to the Energy Department.
"Some states are benefiting from both cheap electricity while polluting the planet and make all the rest of us suffer the consequences of global warming," said Frank O'Donnell, director of the Washington environmental group Clean Air Watch. "I don't think that's fair at all."
He noted that the states putting out the most carbon dioxide are doing the least to control it, except for California.