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.