Special Report

Companies Pumping the Most Greenhouse Gas Into the Atmosphere

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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.

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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.

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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.

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