Over the weekend, the Associated Pressreported
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that Texas leads the nation in carbon emissions.
Texas, the leader in emitting this greenhouse gas, cranks out more than the next two biggest producers combined, California and Pennsylvania, which together have twice Texas' population.
Texas, where coal barely edges out cleaner natural gas as the top power source, belches almost 1 1/2 trillion pounds of carbon dioxide yearly. That's more than every nation in the world except six: the United States, China, Russia, Japan, India and Germany.
Instead of trying to wean themselves from coal, Texas government officials went out of their way to encourage the state's biggest utility, TXU Corp., to plan for 11 new coal-burning power plants that would have produced even more carbon dioxide. The strategy collapsed when an investor group buying TXU cut a deal with environmentalists to drop plans to build most of the coal plants.
The Texas state agency charged with monitoring the environment declined to comment on carbon dioxide emissions. Spokeswoman Andrea Morrow said the gas "is not a regulated pollutant." Frank Maisano, a lobbyist and spokesman for Bracewell Giuliani, which also has offices in Texas, defended the state saying, "these net exporters of energy are always going to produce more carbon dioxide."