C'mon, Chicken-Fried News readers, yell it with us! We're No. 1! We knew we had it in us to get one more No. 1, and we did it!
More generation at OG&E coal units and AEP-PSO's coal and natural gas units caused Oklahoma to have the biggest increase of carbon dioxide emissions in the entire country, according to an Environmental Integrity Project report cited in the Tulsa World. The nonprofit EIP tracked carbon output from 2007 to 2008.
Wait. What's that you say? We don't understand. How could releasing 3.1 million tons of carbon dioxide for the year be bad? Oh. This is more like golf " lower the better. (Someone needs to tell Jim Inhofe.) The rest of the country dropped their total output by 3.1 percent last year.
According to the World, Brian Alford, OG&E spokesman, said unit outages at coal facilities created the increase, adding that 2007 was a low year for energy use due to the mild summer and ice storm power outages. The year 2008, he reportedly said, was on par with historical energy output. Meanwhile, the EIP said the dip for the rest of the country was because of mild weather and the recession.
"We clearly cannot afford a wave of conventional fossil-fired power plants that would only add tens of millions of tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year over the lifetimes of these new plants," EIP senior attorney Ilan Levin said. "If the United States is serious about curbing greenhouse gas pollution and meeting the goals that the scientific community says are needed, then many of the nation's dirtiest power plants will either need to be cleaned up or retired. We have no time to lose."
Although Oklahoma had the biggest increase of the year, we're still not king of the mountain when it comes to carbon emissions. Hell, we're not even in the top 10. The No. 1 honor goes to Texas (figures), followed by nine other states that aren't Oklahoma.