NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its 2022 report on large greenhouse gas emissions across the U.S. New Mexico has a handful of large emitters, according to the report, but total emissions from those sources are nothing compared to our neighbor to the east. Still, it’s worth noting that the data doesn’t show all emissions from the state, just the large single-source emitters.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tracks emissions from facilities that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. In New Mexico, that includes facilities like power plants and refineries. In 2022, those facilities released the equivalent of 25.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the EPA says.
A large proportion of that came from the now-decommissioned San Juan Generating Station. Moving forward, we can expect that those emissions won’t exist in the future.
Other locations around the state – like the Artesia Gas Plant, the Bluffview Power Plant, and the Chaco Gas Plant – also contribute to New Mexico’s emissions. Around Albuquerque, the GCC Rio Grande cement plant in Tijeras, there Cerro Colorado Landfill, and the Rio Bravo Generating Station are the largest emitters in Bernalillo County, according to the EPA data.
Overall, however, New Mexico’s emissions from large sources are relatively low compared to many other states. New Mexico’s large emitters released less than Arizona, Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, and a host of other states. Texas’s large emissions sources released more than any other state in 2022. They released a total of 384 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent – 15 times New Mexico’s emissions.
*Note: Greenhouse gas inventories use “carbon dioxide equivalent” as a measure. This unit allows for comparison among a range of gas emissions, such as methane and carbon dioxide. The unit calculates emissions based on total global warming potential.