Carbon tax profile for Texas (Kimberly Grant; previous version byRachel Scott)

Texas
1990
2007
% change 1990-2007
Fossil fuel CO2 emissions, in millions of metric tonnes[1]
588
677
+15%
Fossil fuel CO2 emissions, in millions of short tons[2]
649
746
+15%
Population, in millions[3]
17.0
23.9
+41%
Per capita CO2 emissions, in short tons
38.1
31.2
-18.1%

Per capita emissions in Texas in 2007 were considerably greater than the U.S. average, which was 21.0 short tons per capita.[4] Due to its large population and an energy-intensive economy, Texas leads the nation in energy consumption, accounting for more than one-tenth of total U.S. energy use. Energy-intensive industries in Texas include aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass, and petroleum refining.[5]

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 $20.1 billion in 2007 (about $840 per person), assuming a 10% reduction in emissions.

For comparison, in 2007 sales taxes alone generated approximately $20.3 billion. A carbon tax of $30 per short ton of CO2 (with an assumed 10% reduction in emissions) comes close to being able to replace the sales tax.[6] Old data from 2005: Alternatively, in 2005 the state motor vehicle sales and rental tax generated about $2.8 billion. A carbon tax of $30 per short ton of CO2 would generate about $770 per person, a larger amount than the sales tax, cigarette and tobacco taxes and the state alcoholic beverage taxes combined.

Greater than half of the electricity produced in Texas is from coal-fired plants, this just barely tops the use of natural gas. However, Texas is also rich in renewable energy potential, including wind, solar, and biomass resources. Wind resource areas in the Texas Panhandle, along the Gulf Coast south of Galveston, and in the mountain passes and ridge tops of the Trans-Pecos offer Texas some of the greatest wind power potential in the United States. Solar power potential is also among the highest in the Nation, with high levels of direct solar radiation suitable to support large-scale solar power plants concentrated in West Texas. In August 2005, Texas adopted a law requiring 5,880 megawatts of new renewable generation be built by 2015, representing about 5 percent of the State’s total 2005 electricity demand. By 2006, Texas surpassed California and to become the largest wind power producing state with the largest wind power facility in the world (the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center).[7]

carbon emissions
  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. ^ 2007 population from the U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/popest/states/NST-ann-est.html. 1990 population from U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/popest/archives/1990s/ST-99-02.txt.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ EIA state profile http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/state_energy_profiles.cfm?sid=TX
  6. ^ http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxbud/revenue_hist.html#2007
  7. ^ EIA state profile http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/state_energy_profiles.cfm?sid=TX