Carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. were 14.8 metric tons per person in 2021, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), one of the many parts of the federal government that tracks emissions. But per capita emissions varied widely by state. New York, Massachusetts, California, Maryland, and Vermont all emitted fewer than 9 metric tons per person. Those places had the advantage of either being highly urbanized with access to mass transit—or have access to hydropower and other renewables, in the case of Vermont.
The states on the other end of the table have one thing in common: a dominant fossil fuels industry. Here are the five states with the largest energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, according to the EIA.