Carbon tax profile for Delaware (Keyan Ghalambor)

% change 1990-2005
Fossil fuel CO2 emissions in millions of metric tons[1]
- 2.6%
In millions of short tons
- 2.6%
Population in thousands[2]
+ 25.9%
Per capita CO2 emissions in short tons
- 22.6%

Per capita emissions in Delaware in 2005 were slightly higher than the U.S. average, which was 21.4 short tons per capita.[3] This may be due to the fact that they have several energy-intensive industries, including petroleum refining, chemical production, and other manufacturing. However, the per capita emissions reduced significantly from 1990 levels, which is very promising. Delaware is one of the few states that requires the use of reformulated motor gasoline blended with ethanol, which may be a contributing factor to the decline in per capita emissions, but that is debatable.[4]

A carbon tax of $30 per short ton of CO2 (about $0.30 per gallon of gasoline, or about $0.03 per kWh of coal-fired power) would have raised about $469 million in 2005 (about $560 per person), assuming a 20% reduction in emissions. For comparison purposes, in 2005 the state portion of the franchise tax generated about $523 million, the corporation income tax generated about $128 million, and the personal income tax generated about $936 million.[5] So a carbon tax of $30 per short ton of CO2 could (assuming a 20% reduction in emissions) have replaced 50% of the personal income tax, could have replaced 90% of the state franchise tax, or could have more than tripled the revenue from the corporation income tax. Delaware seems quite unique in that they do not have a state or local sales tax, no property or inventory taxes, and their real property taxes are among the lowest in the country.

Delaware is the 46th highest emitter of C02 of all 50 states and the 45th most populous.[6] To help curb emissions, the State has adopted Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Regulation 1147, which establishes Delaware's portion of a multi-state carbon dioxide (CO2) cap-and trade program.[7]
carbon emissions

  1. ^ EPA, “State CO2 Emissions from fossil fuel combustion, 1990-2005”, linked from
  2. ^ 2005 population from the U.S. Census Bureau, 1990 population from U.S. Census Bureau,
  3. ^ U.S. population of 295.6 million in 2005 from U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. carbon emissions of 6.317 billion tons of CO2 from EPA,
  4. ^ See state profiles from the EIA,
  5. ^ State of Delaware: Budget Development, Planning, and Administration office
  6. ^ Next Generation Earth: Delaware Climate Change Information
  7. ^ State of Delaware; Climate Change Page