Montgomery, AL – Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) today released its Alabama Emissions Analysis, which found that emissions have been reduced by as much as 93 percent across the state since 1990. This sharp drop in emissions – which typically increase with increased economic activity – are all the more remarkable given that Alabama’s Gross Domestic Product surged 223 percent over the same period.
This outstanding feat comes as Alabama ranks sixth in the U.S. for power generation, with natural gas supplying 40 percent of the state’s electricity. This analysis illustrates that we can have energy production and meet the energy needs of Alabama’s families, small businesses and industries while protecting our environment at the same time.
From 1990 to 2019, Alabama’s emissions of key pollutants have decreased across the board, with a:
- 93% reduction in sulfur dioxide (SO2)
- 68% reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx)
- 47% reduction in carbon monoxide (CO)
- 36% reduction in volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
These numbers are even more noteworthy considering Alabama is one of the nation’s largest energy consumers per capita and more than 62 percent of Alabama’s energy needs are met by oil and natural gas.
Moreover, while Alabama’s emissions of key pollutants were plunging and the state’s economic growth was exploding by more than 200 percent, Alabamians traveled 39 percent more in vehicle miles per capita and the population grew 21 percent. All three of these usually are accompanied by emissions increases, not decreases.
“Alabama has proven than environmental stewardship and energy independence are not mutually exclusive, a false idea that many anti-energy extremists propagate,” CEA Gulf Coast Director Kaitlin Schmidtke said. “The data is clear, and Alabamans should be proud of the work that their industries and government officials have taken to sustain these tremendous reductions in emissions across the board.”
This analysis follows CEA’s Energy Savings Report for Alabama, which found that Alabama consumers saved more than $15.3 billion from 2008-2018 in large part because of affordable natural gas. Alabama’s households saved over $1.6 billion and industries, including automotive assembly plants and metals manufacturing facilities, saved more than $12.5 billion. Not only is affordable energy essential to Alabama’s families and small business operations, COVID-19 has shown how essential it is to our national supply chains and manufacturing infrastructure. All Alabamians benefit from a strong energy industry and reliable energy infrastructure.
With more than 283,000 Alabamians now suffering from unemployment and small businesses and manufacturers across the state reeling from the economic downturn, let us not forget the 124,000 jobs and more than $13.2 billion in economic impact that the energy industry has brought to the state.
“Alabama is a perfect example for the nation as to how we can meet the energy needs of families and small businesses, bolster our economy and industries and be stewards of the environment all at the same time,” Schmidtke said. “We thank Alabama’s policymakers for recognizing the importance of this work, as well their understanding that the state and the nation benefit from expanded exploration and production access in the Gulf of Mexico – which is proof that we can produce energy reliably, affordably and in an environmentally responsible way.”