On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency released its 2013 Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program Data (GHGRP), which analyzes the reported emissions of over 8,000 facilities and suppliers in the United States.
Overall, the U.S. increased its emissions by 0.62 percent over 2012, pumping an additional 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. This follows a 4.5 percent decline between 2011 and 2012.
Total 2013 emissions from the GHGRP stand at 3.13 billion metric tons.
This figure represents about half of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and then only the emissions reported by the following sectors: Oil & gas, refineries, chemicals, fluorinated chemicals, waste, metals, minerals, pulp & paper, underground coal mines, electrical equipment production & use, electronics manufacturing, “other combustion” and power plants, which comprise the largest segment of emissions (about 32 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gases).
By state, Vermont acquits itself as the greenest. Between 2013 and 2013 its emissions decreased from 548,000 to 496,000 tons.
Texas, where “everything is bigger,” acquitted itself of that motto in spades. The state continues to lead the nation in greenhouse gas emissions, jumping from 396 million tons in 2012 to 409 million tons in 2013. Looking at the graph supplied by the GHGRP, one can see that Texas’ power plant emissions alone are more than double most states’ total emissions.
Though overall emissions increased this year, methane emissions decreased by 12 percent for the two-year period between 2011 and 2013. Emissions from fracking wells reportedly decreased by 73 percent.
However, Climate Central points out that large quantities of methane may be leaking from oil and gas drilling sites and during its distribution. Unlike carbon dioxide, methane eventually dissipates from the atmosphere. However, it has a potency 35 times that of carbon, increasing its effect on global warming.