Special Report

Companies Pumping the Most Greenhouse Gas Into the Atmosphere

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Since the Industrial Revolution and the use of the combustion engine in vehicles, soaring emissions of greenhouse gasses — including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide — have been the main culprits behind climate change. 

To identify the companies emitting the most greenhouse gasses, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Political Economy Research Institute Greenhouse Index for 2019, the most recent year available, ranking companies by their emission of CO2 equivalent. All other data, including the share of people living below the poverty line and the share of people of ethnic/racial exposed to these greenhouse gas sources, is from the PERI report. (Here are 23 places where industrial air pollution is so bad it causes cancer.)

Major sources of carbon dioxide include fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, and cement production. The sources of methane emissions are fossil fuel production, agriculture, and landfills. Major sources of nitrous oxide are fertilizer application, fossil fuel and biomass combustion, and industrial processes. U.S. companies generate all of these greenhouse gas sources. (Here are foods with the worst environmental impact.)

The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its sixth report in August 2021 and stepped up its appeal for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Later that year, representatives from 197 nations met in Glasgow, Scotland, at a climate change conference to try and forge an agreement on the measures needed for humanity to avoid the catastrophe forecast by the IPCC if the world fails to limit warming to 1.5ºC, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, above pre-industrial levels.

While many companies are heeding the call to reduce their fossil fuel footprint, energy, mining, and chemical businesses are still running afoul with the Environmental Protection Agency. In 2021, the agency assessed $1.06 billion in penalties, the highest amount in four years. Last year, the EPA got commitments of over $8.5 billion to return facilities to compliance, also the highest total in four years, and 28% of those commitments were to address noncompliance in communities with environmental justice concerns.

Click here to see companies pumping the most greenhouse gas into the atmosphere
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50. Archer Daniels Midland
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 12,388,843 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 14% – #56 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 20% – #85 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 36% – #41 highest
> Industrial sectors: Other, pulp and paper, waste

The Chicago-based agribusiness company has been fined almost $364 million in penalties related to environmental regulations violations since 2000. In 2003, the company agreed to spend $340 million to slash emissions, pay a $4.6 million civil penalty, and spend $6.3 million on environmental projects. To put these figures in perspective, the company reported $85.25 billion in revenue and 2.71 billion in revenue in 2021.

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49. OGE Energy
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 12,417,783 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 15% – #39 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 39% – #59 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 32% – #49 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, other

OGE Energy, a utilities and power generation company in Oklahoma City, has been fined more than $458,000 for environment-related offenses since 2000. It reported revenue of $3.7 billion in 2021.

48. Lower Colorado River Authority
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 12,483,976 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 12% – #77 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 33% – #69 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 83% – #13 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, other

The Lower Colorado River Authority posted the 13th-highest percentage of CO2 equivalent emissions from a single facility — nearly 83% — at the Sam Seymour plant in La Grange, Texas.

47. LafargeHolcim
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 12,567,194 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 11% – #86 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 43% – #51 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 23% – #70 highest
> Industrial sectors: Minerals

In May 2021, Zug, Switzerland-based minerals company LafargeHolcim agreed to pay $850,000 to resolve alleged environmental violations at its Ravena cement plant in New York.

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46. Air Products & Chemicals
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 12,683,848 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 16% – #31 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 69% – #10 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 20% – #80 highest
> Industrial sectors: Chemicals, power plants

Since 2000, Allentown, Pennsylvania-based Air Products & Chemicals has paid about $2.5 million in environment-related violations. Its Port Arthur, Texas, plant is responsible for almost 20% of emissions from its 22 facilities.

45. Prairie State Generating
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 12,737,155 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 8% – #96 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 7% – #97 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 100% – #1 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, other

Prairie State Generating, of Marissa, Illinois, is a joint venture owned by a group of utilities. All of its CO2 emissions are generated from one plant, a coal-fired facility in southern Illinois that lawmakers are trying to close to meet clean energy goals.

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44. Pinnacle West Capital
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 12,945,950 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 21% – #3 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 69% – #10 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 68% – #22 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, other

Pinnacle West Capital of Phoenix provides retail and wholesale electric services through its subsidiary, Arizona Public Service Co. Pinnacle’s Four Corners Steam Electric Station in Fruitland, New Mexico, is responsible for more than 68% of the company’s CO2 emissions. The company has paid nearly $4 million in environment-related offenses since 2000. Most of that was from violations at a Farmington, New Mexico, plant.

43. Plant Scherer (single power plant)
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 13,764,419 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 8% – #96 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 24% – #81 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 100% – #1 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants

Plant Scherer’s facility in Juliette, Georgia, a 12,000-acre, coal-fired plant, is responsible for all of the company’s CO2 emissions.

42. Colstrip Power Plant (single power plant)
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 14,277,559 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 5% – #100 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 31% – #72 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 100% – #1 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants

The Colstrip power plant in the town of Colstrip, Montana, is operated by Talen Montana, a subsidiary of Talen Energy, a privately owned power producer in Pennsylvania. Two of the four coal-fired units at the power station were shut down in 2020. The others are expected to operate until 2025.

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41. PBF Energy
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 14,654,623 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 15% – #39 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 65% – #18 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 25% – #61 highest
> Industrial sectors: Refineries, chemicals, power plants, petroleum and natural gas systems

Since 2000, Parsippany, New Jersey-based PBF Energy has been fined more than $32 million for environmental violations, including for water pollution and excessive flaring. Most of the violations involved PBF’s Delaware City Refinery.

40. BP
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 15,377,834 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 19% – #12 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 75% – #3 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 32% – #49 highest
> Industrial sectors: Petroleum and natural gas systems, refineries, power plants, chemicals, other

Since 2000, BP has been fined for more than $34 billion in environment-related offenses. About half of that total were fines related to its responsibility for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010, the biggest environmental fine ever. The British petroleum giant’s Whiting, Indiana, facility was responsible for 32% of its CO2 equivalent emissions. BP reported $157.7 billion in revenue and $7.6 billion in profit in 2021 alone.

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39. Dow Inc.
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 16,126,051 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 16% – #31 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 48% – #39 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 26% – #59 highest
> Industrial sectors: Chemicals, power plants, metals, waste, petroleum and natural gas systems, other

Chemical company Dow has racked up nearly $260 million in environmental penalties since 2000. In 2011, the Midland, Michigan, company agreed to pay the federal government a $2.5 million civil penalty to settle alleged environmental violations at its chemical manufacturing and research complex in Midland. Dow reported nearly $55 billion in revenue and $6.3 billion in net income in 2021.

38. Waste Management
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 16,159,383 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 13% – #67 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 48% – #39 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 5% – #98 highest
> Industrial sectors: Waste

The Eagle Point Landfill in Ball Ground, Georgia, has the highest share of CO2 equivalent emissions from a single facility at Houston-based Waste Management, the waste management colossus.

37. Royal Dutch Shell
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 16,504,977 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 16% – #31 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 67% – #13 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 24% – #63 highest
> Industrial sectors: Refineries, petroleum and natural gas systems, chemicals, other

In May 2021, the energy company was ordered by a Dutch civil court to cut its CO2 emissions by 45% compared with 2019 levels by 2030. Four of Royal Dutch Shell’s manufacturing and refining facilities have a percentage of CO2 equivalent emissions from a single facility of 11% or above. Shell reported $261.5 billion in revenue and $20 billion in net earnings in 2021.

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36. CMS Energy
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 17,391,563 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 23% – #2 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 48% – #39 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 48% – #32 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, petroleum and natural gas systems, other

The Jackson, Michigan, energy company has received more than $10 million in environmental fines since 2000. In 2014, CMS said it would cut emissions from five coal-fired power plants in Michigan to resolve air pollution complaints. The company reported $7.3 billion in revenue in 2021 alone.

35. Energy Transfer
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 17,469,106 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 15% – #39 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 62% – #23 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 27% – #56 highest
> Industrial sectors: Petroleum and natural gas systems, other, power plants

The Pennsylvania Attorney General last October charged Dallas-based Energy Transfer with 48 counts of environmental crimes during construction of the Mariner East 2 natural-gas liquids pipeline. Energy Transfer has been hit with environment-related fines of more than $542 million since 2000.

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34. FirstEnergy
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 18,050,230 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 18% – #16 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 9% – #95 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 65% – #24 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, other

FirstEnergy’s Harrison Power Station in Haywood, West Virginia, is responsible for 65% of CO2 equivalent emissions from one single facility. In 2005, the Akron, Ohio, company’s Ohio Edison unit agreed to spend $1.1 billion on pollution control equipment, pay a civil penalty of $8.5 million, and spend $25 million on other environmental projects.

33. Macquarie
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 18,158,027 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 16% – #31 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 50% – #38 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 30% – #51 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, waste, petroleum and natural gas systems, other

Australian company Macquarie was slapped with a $7.5 million fine in 2011 for environmental violations committed by its subsidiaries in Massachusetts. The company recently reported fiscal year 2022 net income of 4.7 billion Australian dollars.

32. Basin Electric Power Cooperative
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 18,198,882 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 11% – #86 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 12% – #92 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 37% – #39 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, chemicals, minerals, other

Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Antelope Valley facility in Beulah, North Dakota, accounted for 37% of the company’s CO2 equivalent emissions. Basin Electric Power Cooperative is a not-for-profit power-generation cooperative based in Bismarck, North Dakota.

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31. Blackstone
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 18,584,285 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 19% – #12 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 67% – #13 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 35% – #42 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, petroleum and natural gas systems

Plants in Ohio and Texas are responsible for more than 50% of CO2 equivalent emissions at plants owned by the New York private equity company Blackstone. The company reported revenue of $22.6 billion and net income of $5.9 billion in 2021.

30. Associated Electric Cooperative Inc
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 18,623,427 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 18% – #16 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 31% – #72 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 42% – #35 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants

Three of Associated Electric Cooperative’s plants and facilities accounted for almost 90% of its CO2 equivalent emissions. The Thomas Hill Energy Center in Clifton Hill, Missouri, was responsible for the most of the Springfield, Missouri, electric cooperative emissions, with 42.37%.

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29. AES Corp.
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 19,586,036 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 18% – #16 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 64% – #21 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 46% – #33 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, other

Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, AES Corp. has been fined almost $22 million for environmental infractions since 2000. Its Petersburg, Indiana, plant generates 46% of the company’s CO2 equivalent emissions. An AES plant in California paid $17 million in 2000 for a settlement over clean-air incentives. The company reported $11 billion in revenue in 2021.

28. LS Power
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 19,800,359 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 17% – #23 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 62% – #23 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 24% – #63 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants

Plants and facilities of LS Power, headquartered in New York City, spewed almost 20 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions in 2019. The plant that emitted the most was Sandy Creek Energy Station in Riesel, Texas, at 25%.

27. CF Industries
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 20,066,539 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 14% – #56 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 43% – #51 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 50% – #29 highest
> Industrial sectors: Chemicals

CF Industries, a Deerfield, Illinois, manufacturer and distributor of agricultural fertilizers, including ammonia, has been fined more than $195 million for environmental violations since 2000. Its facility at Donaldsonville, Louisiana, accounted for almost half of the company’s CO2 equivalent emissions.

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26. WEC Energy Group
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 22,179,428 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 13% – #67 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 31% – #72 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 34% – #47 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, petroleum and natural gas systems

Two plants at Oak Creek in Wisconsin for Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group accounted for about 55% of CO2 equivalent emissions. The company was hit with more than $931 million for environment-related offenses. Most of those fines were penalties related to emissions violations from its Wisconsin Public Service Corp. The company reported $8.3 billion in revenue and $1.3 billion in net income in 2021.

25. United States Steel
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 22,224,821 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 20% – #8 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 47% – #44 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 41% – #36 highest
> Industrial sectors: Metals, waste, other

More than 22 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions have been spewed by United States Steel in 2019. Its plant in Gary, Indiana, is responsible for about 41% of those emissions. Since 2000, the Pittsburgh-based company has been fined $38 million for environment-related transgressions. For context, the company reported $20 billion in revenue and $3.8 billion in net earnings in 2021.

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24. Valero Energy
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 23,474,041 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 17% – #23 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 71% – #8 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 14% – #90 highest
> Industrial sectors: Refineries, chemicals, other

San Antonio-based Valero Energy has been fined more than $1 billion for environmental offenses since 2000. As part of a Clean Air Act settlement pertaining to its refineries, Valero said it would spend about $700 million to install improved emission controls. It also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $5.5 million and spend $5.5 million on other environmental projects. The company reported nearly $114 billion in revenue in 2021.

23. Koch Industries
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 24,237,277 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 13% – #67 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 47% – #44 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 16% – #87 highest
> Industrial sectors: Chemicals, pulp and paper, refineries, other, minerals, waste

The Wichita, Kansas-based business has been fined more than $813 million since 2000. In 2009, Koch’s Invista company, which makes fiber and resins, said it would pay a $1.7 million civil penalty and spend about $500 million to correct self-reported environmental violations discovered at facilities in seven states. The company generates $115 billion in annual revenue, according to Forbes.

22. Ameren
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 24,314,880 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 10% – #92 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 25% – #79 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 58% – #26 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, petroleum and natural gas systems, other

Three plants of St. Louis-based power company Ameren were responsible for more than 96% of the company’s CO2 equivalent emissions. In 2005, its Illinois Power Company division and its successor, Dynegy Midwest Generation, agreed to pay $24 million — a $9 million civil penalty and $15 million in spending on projects to mitigate harm caused by unlawful emissions — to Illinois and the U.S. government to settle Clean Air Act violations at five Illinois power plants.

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21. Chevron
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 24,549,906 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 14% – #56 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 67% – #13 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 20% – #80 highest
> Industrial sectors: Refineries, petroleum and natural gas systems, chemicals, power plants, waste, other

Chevron has been fined more than $703 million for environmental violations since 2000. In 2003, the San Ramon, California-based company reached an agreement with the EPA to spend more than $278 million to cut emissions by almost 10,000 tons a year from five petroleum refineries representing more than 5% of the total refining capacity in the U.S. Chevron reported revenue of $162 billion and net income of $15.6 billion in 2021.

20. Phillips 66
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 26,375,931 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 14% – #56 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 65% – #18 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 15% – #88 highest
> Industrial sectors: Refineries, power plants, chemicals, petroleum and natural gas systems, waste, other

Houston-based Phillips 66 has been fined almost $700 million for emissions violations since 2000. As part of a Clean Air Act settlement, its predecessor company in 2005 agreed to spend $525 million on new emissions control equipment, pay a $4.5 million civil penalty, and spend $10 million on other environmental projects. The company reported $114 billion in revenue in 2021.

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19. ArcLight Capital Partners
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 26,560,645 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 18% – #16 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 58% – #30 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 40% – #37 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, petroleum and natural gas systems, refineries

The Boston-based private equity firm, with holdings in power plants, refineries, and petroleum and natural gas systems, has received fines totaling more than $709 million for environment-related violations since 2000. Most of that penalty was related to its Hovensa division, which in 2011 agreed to pay a $5.4 million civil penalty and spend more than $700 million in new pollution controls to resolve Clean Air Act violations at its St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, refinery.

18. Evergy Inc.
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 27,620,949 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 17% – #23 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 35% – #65 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 27% – #56 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, other

In 2010, Westar Energy, a unit of Kansas City, Missouri-based Evergy, said it would spend about $500 million to slash air pollution levels from a Kansas power plant and pay a $3 million civil penalty to settle violations of the Clean Air Act. Westar also was required to spend another $6 million on environmental mitigation projects.

17. PPL Corp.
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 28,493,455 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 17% – #23 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 25% – #79 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 35% – #42 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, petroleum and natural gas systems, other

Almost 90% of PPL’s CO2 equivalent emissions come from three plants in Kentucky. In 2009, the Allentown, Pennsylvania’s Kentucky Utilities unit, a coal-fired electric utility, said it would spend about $135 million on pollution controls to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and pay a $1.4 million civil penalty.

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16. DTE Energy
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 30,551,954 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 19% – #12 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 30% – #75 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 50% – #29 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, petroleum and natural gas systems, metals

Nearly half of the CO2 equivalent emissions generated by Detroit-based DTE Energy originate from its plant in Monroe, Michigan. In a $7.3 million settlement with the EPA in 2020, the company agreed to lower pollution at five coal-fired power plants in southeast Michigan, pay a $1.8 million civil penalty, and spend $5.5 million to replace old buses in the area with newer, cleaner ones.

15. Cleveland-Cliffs
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 32,585,506 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 21% – #3 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 59% – #27 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 24% – #63 highest
> Industrial sectors: Metals, minerals, other, waste

Almost 83% of the CO2 equivalent emissions from the Cleveland-based miner of iron ore are from five plants in Indiana and Ohio. In 2006, its AK Steel Corp. unit paid $13.4 million to settle Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act violations related to the cleanup of PCB-contaminated sediments from two streams that are tributaries to the Great Miami River.

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14. Dominion Energy
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 35,646,444 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 15% – #39 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 46% – #47 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 13% – #94 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, petroleum and natural gas systems, other

In 2003, Richmond, Virginia-based Dominion Energy’s Virginia Electric Power Co., agreed to spend about $1.2 billion to cut emissions, pay a $5.3 million civil penalty, and spend $13.9 million on supplementary environmental projects. Dominion reported nearly $14 billion in revenue and $3.3 billion in net income in 2021.

13. Entergy
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 35,760,849 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 18% – #16 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 53% – #36 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 22% – #74 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, other, petroleum and natural gas systems

About 47% of the CO2 equivalent emissions from the New Orleans power company originate from three plants in Arkansas and Louisiana.

12. Marathon Petroleum
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 36,405,742 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 15% – #39 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 65% – #18 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 21% – #78 highest
> Industrial sectors: Refineries, petroleum and natural gas systems, power plants, chemicals, other

Since 2000, Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum has been fined almost $1.4 billion for environment-related violations. The largest one was for $425.4 million in 2016 against Marathon’s Tesoro Corp. and Par Hawaii Refining. Under the settlement, the two companies agreed to spend about $403 million to install and operate pollution control equipment. Tesoro also said it would spend about $12 million to fund environmental projects in areas impacted by pollution. It also agreed to pay a $10.45 million civil penalty. The company reported $5.6 billion in revenue in 2021.

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11. NRG Energy
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 36,806,514 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 9% – #95 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 59% – #27 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 35% – #42 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, other

Two Texas plants account for almost 70% of the CO2 emissions output of NRG Energy. The Houston-based company has been fined more than $279 million for environmental violations. Most of that fine amount was from a penalty in 2012. Louisiana Generating, an electric generating company owned by NRG, agreed to a settlement at its Big Cajun II coal-fired power plant in New Roads, La. The agreement required Louisiana Generating to spend about $250 million to cut air pollution and also required it to pay a civil fine of $3.5 million and spend $10.5 million on local environmental mitigation projects. The company reported revenue of nearly $27 billion in 2021.

10. Exxon Mobil
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 38,252,969 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 15% – #39 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 55% – #34 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 29% – #52 highest
> Industrial sectors: Refineries, petroleum and natural gas systems, power plants, chemicals, other

Nearly 60% of Exxon Mobil’s CO2 equivalent emissions are generated by three plants in Texas and Louisiana. Since 2000, the Irving, Texas, energy behemoth has been fined nearly $2.2 billion for environmental transgressions. The largest was for $589.4 million in 2005. Exxon settled alleged Clean Air Act infractions at seven refineries by agreeing to spend about $571 million on new emission controls, pay a penalty of $8.7 million, and spend $9.7 million on supplementary environmental projects. Exxon reported $276.7 billion in revenue and $23 billion in 2021.

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9. NextEra Energy
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 40,521,250 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 14% – #56 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 53% – #36 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 19% – #82 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, petroleum and natural gas systems, other

Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy in 2010 agreed to pay $2.5 million as part of an agreement with the California Attorney General to upgrade its 25-year-old wind turbines in Altamont Pass in northern California to make them more efficient and less deadly to migratory birds. The company reported $14.2 billion in revenue and $3.6 billion in net income in 2021.

8. Energy Capital Partners
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 41,420,489 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 15% – #39 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 66% – #17 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 9% – #97 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, metals

Energy Capital Partners is a private equity firm based in Short Hills, New Jersey. In 2005, its Gopher Resource unit in Eagan, Minnesota, was fined $1.8 million for environmental violations.

7. Xcel Energy
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 46,975,696 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 13% – #67 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 39% – #59 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 24% – #63 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, petroleum and natural gas systems, other

Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy provides natural gas to customers in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico. It has been fined for about $3.8 million for environmental violations since 2000.

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6. U.S. Government
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 47,504,228 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 15% – #39 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 43% – #51 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 19% – #82 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, other, waste, petroleum and natural gas systems, chemicals

U.S. government facilities such as military bases and transmission systems produced more than 47 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions in 2019. The federal government is responsible for 1.7% of the national total of 2019 Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program’s large fixed-source emissions.

5. American Electric Power
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 70,044,545 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 16% – #31 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 19% – #86 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 14% – #90 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, other

No. 5 American Electric Power produced almost 23 million more metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions in 2019 than the U.S. Government. In 2007, the Columbus, Ohio, company agreed to pay $4.7 billion to cut 813,000 tons of air pollutants annually, pay a $15 million penalty, and spend $60 million on projects to curtail the worst impacts of excess emissions. The company reported nearly $17 billion in revenue and $3.5 billion in net income in 2021.

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4. Berkshire Hathaway
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 74,960,726 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 14% – #56 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 36% – #64 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 15% – #88 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, petroleum and natural gas systems, minerals, metals, other, chemicals

Energy, mineral, and chemical companies in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway group were fined $230.1 million for environmental violations. Berkshire’s Nevada Power Company unit settled with the federal government and the state of Nevada to spend almost $85 million on cleaner technology, pay a $1.11 million fine, and spend $4 million on energy conservation projects.

3. Southern Company
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 86,244,286 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 15% – #39 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 48% – #39 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 22% – #74 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, petroleum and natural gas systems, other

More than one-third of the CO2 equivalent emissions generated by Southern Company in 2019 came from two plants in Alabama and Georgia. Since 2000, the Atlanta-based company has received fines totaling nearly $207 million. Most of that amount was from a settlement in 2006 at its James H. Miller coal-fired plant in Quinton, Alabama, operated by its Alabama Power subsidiary that agreed to spend more than $200 million on pollution controls to settle alleged Clean Air Act violations. Alabama Power alone reported revenue of $6.4 billion in 2021.

2. Duke Energy
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 87,140,105 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 14% – #56 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 29% – #76 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 13% – #94 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants, other, petroleum and natural gas systems, waste

Duke Energy, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is responsible for 3.1% of the national total of 2019 Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program of large fixed source emissions. The company has been fined $2.5 billion for environmental infractions since 2000. Before it merged with Duke in 2006, Cinergy Corp. settled alleged Clean Air Act violations by agreeing to spend $1.4 billion on new emission controls, pay an $8.5 million civil penalty, and spend $21.5 million on environmental projects. In 2021, Duke settled a case that decided liability for payment of coal ash cleanup, writing off $485 million in coal ash expenses for customers, $270 million in future additional coal ash costs for customers, and it agreed to pay a $100 million penalty.

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1. Vistra Energy
> 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions: 106,510,086 metric tons
> Environmental justice, poor population share: 12% – #77 highest out of 100 corporations
> Environmental justice, minority population share: 39% – #59 highest
> Pct. of CO2 equivalent emissions from single facility: 12% – #96 highest
> Industrial sectors: Power plants

Vistra Energy of Irving, Texas, is the only company on the list with 2019 CO2 equivalent emissions exceeding 100 million tons. Vistra accounts for 3.7% of the national total of 2019 Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program of large fixed source emissions, the most of any company on the list. In 2005, Vistra’s Dynegy Midwest Generation unit was fined more than $524 million in environment-related offenses. It agreed to spend $500 million on new pollution control equipment, pay a civil penalty of $9 million, and spend $15 million on environmental projects.

Methodology

To identify the companies emitting the most greenhouse gasses, 24/7 Wall St. looked at the top 100 companies that produce the most CO2 equivalent emissions from the Political Economy Research Institute Greenhouse Index for 2019, the most recent year available. 

We also added from the report environmental justice measures that show the percentage of the population under the poverty line and the share of the population from minority racial/ethnic groups that are at risk of exposure to dangerous greenhouse gasses from these emitters. The industrial sector of each company and the share of emissions from a single facility also came from the report.

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