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

Seth Geiser)

North Dakota
% change 1990-2007
Fossil fuel CO2 emissions, in millions of metric tonnes[1]
Fossil fuel CO2 emissions, in millions of short tons[2]
Population, in thousands
Per capita CO2 emissions, in short tons

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, 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