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Nevada’s carbon dioxide increase percentage highest

Carbon dioxide gas emissions increased 18 percent in the United States from 1990 to 2004, with Texas releasing the largest amount of this greenhouse gas, a national environmental group reported Thursday.

Nevada, according to the 43-page report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, topped the list for highest percentage of increase in carbon dioxide, paralleling its population growth for those 15 years.

But the Silver State’s 55 percent increase that put 47.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in the air represented only a small fraction of the 659 million metric tons that Texas released in 2004, the most current year in the analysis.

Overall for amount of carbon dioxide released in 2004, Nevada ranked 37th out of 51.

The total included the 50 states and the District of Columbia, which had the least amount of carbon dioxide emissions, 4 million metric tons.

California placed second behind Texas in most carbon dioxide emissions at 385.4 million metric tons in 2004, an 8 percent increase over the 15-year span.

Behind Nevada in terms of percentage increase of carbon dioxide emissions for that period were Arizona, at 54 percent; New Hampshire, 50 percent; and South Carolina, 45 percent.

Nevada ranked fifth in absolute increases in carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas-fired power plants with 7.6 million metric tons in 2004 or 6.3 million metric tons more than the 1.3 million metric tons released in 1990.

Using data from the Department of Energy, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group analyzed carbon emissions in the United States and ordered them by rank, finding that only Delaware, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia cut back on those emissions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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