CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A study from has found that West Virginia has the 2nd most carbon-intensive economy in the U.S.

With data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Environment Dataset and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the study tried to determine the states with the least carbon-intensive economies by calculating CO2 emissions per GDP.

States with a lower value were ranked higher.

As a result, West Virginia was ranked the 49th least carbon-intensive state while New York was placed at number one.

RankStateCO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million)CO2 emissions per capitaTotal CO2 emissions (tons)Largest source of CO2 emissionsPopulation
1New York123.69.0175,900,000Petroleum19,336,776
49West Virginia901.249.890,000,000Coal1,784,787
Least Carbon-Intensive Economies

“In 2018 (the most recent year that state-level data is available pertaining to carbon emissions), West Virginia emitted 901.2 tons of CO2 per $1 million of GDP, compared to the U.S. average of 287.2 tons.”

Thanks to decarbonization in electric power generation, total CO2 emissions in the nation has dropped from its peak of 6 billion metric tons in 2007 to 4.6 billion metric tons in 2020.