Many data series in FRED are versatile enough to be viewed in different ways. We’ve offered two perspectives so far on CO2 emissions at the national level. Today, we offer another perspective—emissions at the state level—thanks to GeoFRED. The map above shows total emissions for each continental U.S. state. These numbers depend on the number of residents, types of economic activity, and types of fuel used. So it’s no surprise that the most populous states are the ones emitting the most carbon dioxide, with the possible exception of Louisiana.
Emissions from coal show something different. For example, the largest state, California, actually has one of the lowest coal-related emission levels. The relatively smaller states of Michigan, Missouri, and West Virginia, on the other hand, rank among the highest in coal-related emissions, which is a reflection of the fuel these states use for power generation.
Emissions from natural gas complement those from coal: That is, states with surprisingly low emissions from coal have higher emissions from natural gas (and vice versa). Louisiana has high emissions from natural gas, just as it does from petroleum, which is shown in our last map. While petroleum is used all over the country for transportation, extracting and refining it also requires a lot of petroleum, hence the higher emissions in oil-producing states.
How these maps were created: An easy way to create these maps is to search FRED for one state-level series on CO2 emissions. Then, you scroll down below the graph to find the link to the GeoFRED map. From there, zoom out to see the entire country.
Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.