Carbon tax profile for North Dakota (Mackenzie Miller; previous version by

Seth Geiser)



North Dakota
1990
2007
% change 1990-2007
Fossil fuel CO2 emissions, in millions of metric tonnes[1]
40.5
48.98
+17%
Fossil fuel CO2 emissions, in millions of short tons[2]
44.7
54
+17%
Population, in thousands
638
645
+1%
Per capita CO2 emissions, in short tons
70
84.6
%17

Per capita emissions in North Dakota in 2007 were considerably higher than the U.S. average, which was 21.0 short tons per capita.[3]
As an example of just how much of a disparity exists, in 2007 North Dakota produced about 68% more carbon emissions than New Jersey, despite the fact that New Jersey has a population 13 times greater. North Dakota ranks 47th in population density and has an average annual temperature of 37, which results in high energy demand for transportation and home heating.[4][5] The majority of North Dakota's energy comes from coal-fired plants, which also contributes to the high CO2 emissions, although the state does have high potential to shift to wind-based energy production.[6]

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 $1.5 billion dollars in 2007 (about $2260 per person), assuming a 10% reduction in emissions.

For comparison purposes, in 2005-07 the state sales and use tax generated about $671 million and the state income tax generated about $467 million.[7] So a carbon tax of $30 per short ton of CO2 could (assuming a 20% reduction in emissions) have entirely replaced both the state sales and use tax and the state income tax, with a remainder of $162 million. That remainder could pay for the construction and maintenance of 1,000 GWh of wind energy.[8]
  1. ^ From EPA, “State CO2 Emissions from fossil fuel combustion, 1990-2007”, linked from here.
  2. ^ 1 metric tonne equals 1.1023 short tons.
  3. ^ U.S. population of 301.6 million in 2007 from U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/popest/states/NST-ann-est.html. U.S. carbon emissions of 5.757 billion tonnes (or 6.346 billion short tons) of CO2 from EPA's 2010 U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report.
  4. ^ US Census Data
  5. ^ NPWRC
  6. ^ US Energy Information Administration
  7. ^ North Dakota 05-07 Budget Summary
  8. ^ Assuming production cost of $.09 per KWh Renewable Energy Sources