Texas Leads The Nation in Pollution

With temperatures in our area dipping into the single digits tonight, global warming is probably the last thing on anyone's mind.

But the rest of the nation is pointing its finger at Texas as the biggest polluter in the country.

You can't drive down any Texas road without seeing a great big pickup truck or SUV.

Texans' affection for gas-guzzling vehicles has helped the Lone Star State gain the title of biggest carbon polluter in the country.

The United States Energy Information Administration reports Texas put 670 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2003.

That is more than what was put out by California and Pennsylvania, the second and third ranking states, combined.

There are several reasons for Texas' large carbon footprint, one of them being the state's 19 coal burning plants. Texas leads the nation in coal consumption. Our per-capita use of electricity in homes is higher than the national average.

The state's dozens of oil refineries and chemical plants also contribute to its pollution.

Another reason, Texas-sized vehicles. The state has more than 20 million registered vehicles.  One in four of those is a pickup truck. Transportation was 28 percent of texas' carbon emissions in 2003.

A poll by the pew research center found nationally, less than 50 percent of Americans say global warming should be immediately addressed.

In Texas, fewer than four percent see it as a pressing issue.