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California's top greenhouse gas polluters (map)

The top 100 carbon dioxide-producing facilities in California generated 101,890,944 metric tons of CO2 in 2007, according to data recently released by the California Air Resources Board. We’ve mapped that data to show where the 100 largest polluters are located. Power plants and oil refineries appear to be the largest culprits. The data is self-reported to the air resources board.

The California Air Resources Board uses this data to identify major sources of pollution in the state, and to determine which businesses will be charged administrative fees that will be used to pay for the implementation of AB 32, the Solutions to Global Warming Act.

AB 32 is intended to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent from current levels by 2020 through diverse measures ranging from reducing landfill emissions to higher fuel standards to a cap-and-trade system for polluters.

The CO2 emission data also indicates which communities are most impacted by heavy polluters. Many of these companies have been at the forefront of efforts to slow the implementation of AB 32, and have lobbied to influence the air resources board's writing of the rules governing emission limits. Twenty two of the companies here are also members of the AB 32 Implementation Group.

In the fall, the air resources board will begin to collect roughly fifteen cents a ton in emission fees from these and other industries to help cover the operating costs of further regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

DISCLAIMER FROM AIR RESOURCES BOARD: This is the first year of reporting, and these numbers are self-reported and have not been verified. The air resources board has accredited the first batch of third-party verifiers and we will begin that process in 2010. Thus, these numbers are subject to change and could contain errors.The measurements reported here are CO2E, "carbon dioxide equivalent," as some greenhouse gas emissions might be other gases, like methane, which have different "global warming potentials." Almost all emissions reported are CO2.

CO2 conversions are from the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

Filed under: Environment, Data Center


Comments are closed for this story.
Anonymous's picture
CO2 is not a pollutant, it has been vilified by the global warming nutcases who will claim anything to push their agenda!
Anonymous's picture
CO2 is a pollutant in high enough concentrations, as we have now in many places on earth. The solution is not to eliminate CO2, since it has a place in beneficial amounts in ecosystems. The solution is to reduce the catastrophic dosing. As with almost any substance, dose is the key to toxcity/pollution.
kevin22's picture
I agree everything is a pollutant in right quanity. The only problem with listing oil and power plants are they are realy the only industrial operations in the state. Yes they should lower emissions but other things should also. I think everything has to reduce some of the co emissions not just them.
Anonymous's picture
You left out the biggest source for emissions - The ongoing nonsensical myopic debate coming from our State Capitol. I'm sure a cost-benefit analysis will show that we recieve much more value from the emissions producing activities of energy industry, agriculture, and small businesses than from the constant emission-rich Legislative yammering.
Anonymous's picture
wow - you must be doing something right! apparently rush limbaugh decided to comment!
Anonymous's picture
Thanks - this is a great visualization of CO2 point sources in our state.
Anonymous's picture
Thank you for shedding light on the polluters behind the initiative to suspend AB 32. Let's remember that burning fossil fuels not only generates global warming pollution, but releases other pollutants into the air that we all breathe. Cap carbon and we reduce air pollution as well.
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leonard123's picture
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Rafael's picture
California really did not invent air pollution. Human-induced air pollution has been around at least since humans first discovered fire. But one particular type of air pollution--photochemical smog--has been strongly associated with California for decades. Many parts of California have almost perfect conditions for the development of photochemical smog. The necessary ingredients are: 1) the type of pollutants put out by automobiles, and 2) sunlight. The primary pollutants involved are a complicated mixture of oxides of nitrogen and hydrocarbons, both emitted by the millions of automobiles on our freeways and roads. In the presence of sunlight, reactions take place that form a new set of chemicals, including ozone, which is a corrosive substance, harmful to the health of humans and other living things. Since California has lots of cars and lots of sunshine, we also have lots of smog. Things get worse when you add in thermal inversions, typical of many parts of California, which trap the air with its pollutants, and lead to a concentration of pollutants. For a little more detail on these complex subjects, see Thermal Inversions and Photochemical Smog at basket SE or other web sources.
adhyatma3010's picture
realy nice comment
djcamora's picture
what you have done here... Great list thanks..
tufty's picture
I wonder if there will ever be a general consensus on how best to tackle pollution as it seems vested interests always create hurdles.
Drenagem Linfatica's picture
expect everyone to be more conscious, and thanks for the post!
livboeree's picture
Some say that CO2 is a pollutant and others also say it's not a pollutant. Anything can be a pollutant, in the wicked application. Even if it´s a typically occurring substance.

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