Special Report

Companies Pumping the Most Greenhouse Gas Into the Atmosphere

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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.

Source: Courtesy of NextEra Energy

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.

Source: 156107276@N08 / Flickr / Public Domain

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.

Source: rarrarorro / iStock via Getty Images

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.

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