Mapping Greenhouse Gas Emissions Across the United States

Yesterday, we brought you news that the Chicago Tribune used the EPA’s new database to map the largest greenhouse gas emissions in the Chicago area as of 2010. Today, we’d like to focus on that database.

EPA develops the national greenhouse gas inventory each year to track the national trend in emissions and removals since 1990. The national greenhouse gas inventory is submitted to the United Nations in accordance with the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The national greenhouse gas inventory is a comprehensive, sectoral level accounting of all human-related sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The emissions presented in the U.S. greenhouse gas inventory are generally based on national-level statistics.

Through EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more per year of GHGs are required to annually report their GHG emissions to EPA. This facility-level data provides a “bottom-up” accounting of the major sources of GHG emissions associated with stationary fuel combustion and industrial processes. Well over half of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are accounted for in this facility level data set, including nearly complete coverage of major emitting sectors such as power plants and refineries.

The EPA also has a mappable database of GHG emissions for certain suppliers of natural gas, petroleum products and industrial gases. You may access both databases from here.

The consequences of our energy production and consumption are examined in several Roosevelt courses, including SUST 210 The Sustainable Future (offered at Roosevelt’s downtown campus and online in Spring 2012), SUST 310 Energy and Climate Change (offered online this semester), and SUST 320 Sprawl, Transportation, and Planning (offered online this semester). For more information on these or any other of our courses, please visit our Sustainability Studies website, call 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU) or email

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