Climate Change Gas Emissions Way Up Nationwide

A report released this week documents a dramatic increase in greenhouse-gas emissions in the United States since 1990.

The state-by-state analysis, published by the advocacy group Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center, looked at emissions of carbon dioxide -- one of the gases linked to rising global temperatures.

The report analyzed state-specific fossil-fuel data provided by the federal Energy Information Administration and found that carbon emissions from fossil fuels rose by 18 percent nationwide between 1990 and 2004.

The electric-power sector accounted for more than half of the increase, with coal-burning plants contributing most of the new carbon dioxide spewed from that sector.

For its part, the transportation sector accounted for 44 percent of the increase since 1990.

The report also discovered that carbon emissions increased the most in the Southeast, Great Lakes, Midwest and Gulf South regions. The states with the largest increases in emissions over the fifteen-year period were Florida, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina and Texas. Delaware and Massachusetts were the only two states where carbon emissions decreased.

The report comes just weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that the US Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions; the Bush administration has not been considering carbon dioxide a pollutant.

Jennifer Bronder, field organizer with Environment Maryland, said in a press statement that "leaders must take decisive action to cut global-warming pollution." She added, "This report is a wake-up call to cap pollution levels now before it is too late."

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