The image presented here is a regional snapshot of data collected for the period ending in 2011 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA.) The Canadian data for New Brunswick and Quebec come from the 2010 CBC news report linked here. The data show per-capita CO2 emissions for respective states and provinces in metric tons, and paint a picture of how heavily each state is breathing out.
Worth noting, is that the numbers above do not include any CO2 emissions coming from biomass combustion. Homes, businesses, and power plants that burn wood or wood residues are assumed to inherently be carbon neutral. Whether or not this is a good assumption is another blog post, though there is a strong argument made by science here that biomass combustion should be treated the same as any other point source emitter of CO2.
These data will probably be freshened up, with EIA inventory numbers that cover through 2014 soon. In my neck of the woods in Maine, it’s a fact of life that people are separated by large distances and we have to keep warm in cold temperatures. The need for heat and the long drives would seem to push our CO2 footprints higher than in other states. That’s a good reason and bonus time spent driving to think hard about ways to reduce energy expense, right? Each year, states like NH and Maine send significant fuel purchase dollars out of state, draining between $3-5 billion out of the local economy.
In light of this, adoption of solar PV generation is on the rise (VT and MA are now the leaders of the new England pack in solar capacity and in solar jobs), while heat pumps are often installed in conjunction to leverage low cost electrical heating, powered in part or in whole by the PV array. It will be interesting to see how the numbers trend in the next inventories.