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Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Energy-Related CO2 Emission Data Tables, Table 4. Based on energy-related CO2 data for five sectors—residential, commercial, industrial, electric utilities, and transportation.

Clean Transport

States With Highest Portion Of Their CO2 Emissions Coming From Transportation: California, Washington, & Hawaii

This is an interesting use of data for a state comparison. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has created a map showing what portion of the 50 US states’ CO2 emissions come from transportation (as of 2018*). As you can see above, states in the West and Florida (and Vermont) had the highest portions of their CO2 emissions caused by transportation. Let’s look at this in two parts.

First of all, in general, the states where transportation emissions were the highest proportion of emissions (the east and east coast) are places where people drive a lot. They are more urbanized, and more suburbanized. Commutes in and out and around large metro areas result in more emissions.

Though, there’s another side of the coin — the non-transportation emissions. This is not a comparison of transportation-related CO2 emissions. It’s a comparison of the proportion of a state’s emissions that’s coming from transportation. So, the non-transportation emissions are critical to determining the final percentage. If a state had a coal power plant every mile, the transportation-related portion of CO2 emissions would be tiny.

Some states have large amounts of emissions from the coal (West Virginia), oil & gas (Texas), and other industrial sectors.

So, in the end, it almost seems like this map isn’t useful. However, what it does show is how important it is for each of those states to focus on transportation — relative to other things — when trying to cut their CO2 emissions. Also, just generally speaking, it’s a reminder that all states have a lot of work to do to cut their transportation-related CO2 emissions and they should be working to electrify their roads much faster. Heck, Hertz knows it’s time and the tech is here. The memo is out. Get to work electrifying!

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