Special Report

Companies Pumping the Most Greenhouse Gas Into the Atmosphere

Source: StockPhotoAstur / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

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.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

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.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

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.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

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.

Source: Courtesy of DTE Energy Co.

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.

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