With new data indicating that 2012 carbon dioxide emissions in the United States dropped to their lowest levels since 1994, the Environmental Protection Agency has released an interactive map showing industrial greenhouse gas emissions in 2011. Drawing on data from 8,000 power plants, refineries and factories, the map demonstrates which states are the nation’s biggest industrial polluters. In news that will surprise no one, the top emitters were coal-dependent states like Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky. Overall, emissions dipped from the previous year, largely because of a national shift away from reliance on coal-fired power plants.
Power plants accounted for one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2011, new EPA data suggests. That translates to about 2,221 million metric tons of carbon dioxide -- though those emissions dipped 4.6 percent compared to 2010 as more plants burned less coal.