Missouri is 5th for increase in carbon dioxide emissions

ST. LOUIS | Since 1990, the U.S. government has talked about reducing carbon dioxide, the chief global warming gas. But since then, Missouri has gone the opposite way.

Instead of cutting back, Missouri spewed more carbon dioxide per person in 2003 — nearly 53,000 pounds per resident — than in 1990, the year the Clean Air Act was amended.

Missouri has the fifth-highest increase in per-person carbon dioxide emissions from 1990 to 2003, the latest year for which figures are available, government statistics show.

They have gone up higher than 44 states and the District of Columbia, according to an Associated Press analysis of state-by-state 2003 carbon dioxide emissions released last month by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Missouri increased its per-person emissions 15 percent between 1990 and 2003, while the nation’s as a whole stayed about the same. Overall, Missouri’s carbon dioxide emissions rose 32 percent in that period, while its population grew 12 percent.

The likely culprit is coal, which, when burned, produces more carbon dioxide per energy produced than any other commonly used American fuel source. Missouri is among the states that is most dependent on coal for its power source.