May 15, 2013 3:36 PM GMT
Yes, you’re reading that graph right. Texas—oil hungry, SUV-driving, fracking-friendly Texas—reduced its carbon emissions more than the usual green suspects of California, Germany, and Europe. The Energy Information Administration released a report yesterday full of emissions data for the fifty states over the first decade of this century. The state with the biggest absolute emissions reductions: Texas.
Not only are total and per capita emissions down deep in the heart of Texas, but its economy is producing more dollars per unit of carbon dioxide emitted (a metric known as the “carbon intensity” of the economy).
Despite the reductions, Texas still has higher carbon emissions than any other state. Greens are seizing on this fact as evidence that the Lone Star State is environmentally derelict, but focusing on the total emissions rather than the sharp downward trend misses the larger point: Texas is finding ways to become more carbon-efficient without gutting its energy industry.
We’ve written at length about the recent economic success story in Texas. More than any other state, Texas has proven that it can produce jobs, maintain budget surpluses, and grow GDP, all while reducing impact on the environment. Green Malthusians fret that economic growth and environmental sustainability cannot coexist. Texas is doing its best to prove them wrong.