Maine led nation for drop in fossil-fuel carbon emissions

Maine’s carbon dioxide emissions dropped the most of any state from 2000 to 2013, according to an analysis of fossil fuel-related emissions by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The analysis factors in total emissions from burning fossil fuels and does not include generation from biomass, which made up about 27.3 percent of the state’s total generation capacity in 2013.

Maine was among 37 states where such emissions declined, a category where it led the percentage decrease in such emissions. New York state had the largest overall decrease of 52 million metric tons (Maine emissions dropped by 6 million metric tons, or about 11.5 percent of New York’s drop.)

The analysis estimates CO2 emissions from various sectors and various fossil fuels.

The sectors are broken down to commercial, industrial, residential, electric power production and transportation uses.

For Maine, where renewable energy sources make up about half of the state’s total generation capacity, the state’s largest source of such emissions is related to the transportation sector, which accounted for 51.5 percent of energy-related emissions in 2013.

By fuel, 77.4 percent of Maine emissions in 2013 came from burning petroleum products and 21.6 percent from natural gas.

By sector, only 8.9 percent of those emissions came from electric power generation in the state (again, not factoring in biomass).

The study noted that attributing emissions to the state that ultimately uses the electricity generated by burning fossil fuels would give a different result.

Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.