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Report: Oregon’s CO2 Emissions Are Leveling Off


Personal vehicles are big contributors to transportation emissions in Oregon. Greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles have declined in recent years.

Personal vehicles are big contributors to transportation emissions in Oregon. Greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles have declined in recent years.

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Emissions that contribute to climate change are leveling off in Oregon, according to a new report released Monday.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has finished its tally of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions for 2010, which is the most recent year studied. The report shows the state’s emissions held steady since 2007, in spite of population growth.

Emissions in Washington state are similarly leveling off, according to data from that state.

The Oregon DEQ’s David Allaway helped write the latest report. He says households in the Northwest that want to cut their carbon footprint should focus on three big ticket items:

“How you get yourself around, how you heat your house, and what you eat. Those three activities contribute about half our total carbon footprint,” he said.

All told, Oregon households and industries were responsible for releasing about 103 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2010. That’s similar to the emissions from 20 million average cars on the road for a year.

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source: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ’s report combined several different sources of information about greenhouse gas emissions. The report counted reported carbon emissions within Oregon’s borders from large industrial energy users like chip maker Intel, Ash Grove Cement Company, and paper producer Georgia Pacific.

The report used a model to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the consumer goods — cars, food, iPhones — that Oregonians purchase from around the world. A final analysis examined emissions associated with car trips and the transportation sector.

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