Global environmental challenges
Biggest California CO2 emitter is…
A string of PacifiCorp power plants are the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide included in the state’s 2008 inventory of carbon sources tied to state use.
California aims to start a cap-and-trade system for carbon pollution in 2012, if it is not preempted by a federal plan, and emissions reports by big power plants and the like represent a step toward that goal.
In-state and out-of-state power plants are roughly equal in the amount of carbon dioxide they produce, and together account for about a quarter of the state’s emissions. A weak economy has raised the stakes for California’s energy plans, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently vetoed legislative renewable power goals that would have limited out-of-state supply. Instead he set a target with an administrative order that was less restrictive.
The biggest in-state California sources of CO2 were Chevron, Shell and BP refineries, accounting for under 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each in a chart of top emitters released by the California Air Resources Board. (One PacifiCorp plant in Wyoming had emissions over 15 million metric tones.)
The biggest source of emissions in California, though, is transport, and the 38 percent of emissions from that is not included in refineries’ totals. The Air Resources Board plans to give an update of its cap-and-trade program on Tuesday.
(Reuters picture by Kim White of Chevron refinery)