Bay Area greenhouse gas emitters

pie chart of greenhouse gas emitters in Bay Area

Greenhouse gas emission sources in the Bay Area in 2008. Data from Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

A House subcommittee voted to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to regulate greenhouse gases earlier this month. The New York Times said the move “chipped away at a central pillar of the Obama administration’s evolving climate and energy strategy.”

If it survives a Senate challenge, this move would be felt in the Bay Area for a number of reasons. First, the Bay Area has been at the social forefront of the environmental movement. Second, there are still significant greenhouse gas emitters in the Bay Area — power plants, airports, oil refineries, etc.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District oversees local air pollution and would be in charge of local regulations, should federal oversight be removed.

The chart above contains 2008 data from the Metropolitan Transit Commission, the Bay Area’s transportation coordination. Notable is the fact that transportation is the largest emitting category of greenhouse gases in the Bay Area (almost 41 percent), with private cars contributing 26.6 of the Bay Area’s 102.6 million metric tons of gas emissions in 2008 (26 percent). Also notable is that the largest emitter in the industrial category, oil refineries, is also related to transportation and refineries alone contributed 14.2 million metric tons of air pollution.

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