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Greenhouse Suppliers 100: A Ranking of Corporate Producers of Greenhouse Gas Precursors in the USA

Ranking U.S. Corporate Greenhouse Gas Suppliers

PERI researchers Michael Ash and James Boyce, along with Richard Puchalsky, present the first comprehensive database of corporate suppliers of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. economy.  They aggregate the available facility-level data—on individual mines, wellheads, refineries, pipelines, and import facilities—to the corporate level, with the corporate final parent as the unit of analysis. This focus on corporate ownership shifts attention to control and responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions.  They then discuss current and potential applications and possible extensions of their findings, such as the development of environmental-justice metrics for fossil-fuel suppliers.

>> Read paper published in The Japanese Political Economy
>> View PERI's Greenhouse 100 Suppliers Index

Abstract

This paper presents the first comprehensive database of corporate suppliers of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas supply stocks in the U.S. economy. The database is a publicly available resource that adds value to existing information sources in two ways. First, we combine several high-quality public data sources, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP), which reports on most products that would result in GHG emissions if those products were released, combusted, or oxidized, with the notable exception of coal, and data on coal from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. In this paper, we discuss the importance of coal as a GHG source and describe its exclusion from coverage by the GHGRP. Second, we aggregate facility-level data (on individual mines, wellheads, refineries, pipelines, and import facilities) to the corporate level, with the corporate final parent as the unit of analysis. While the data collection of the EPA focuses on individual facilities as the reporting units, the analysis of corporate ownership shifts attention to control and responsibility. Here we use these data to explore the corporate concentration of GHG activity, and we compare the degree of concentration between GHG supply and emissions, and between the facility level and the corporate level. Finally, we discuss current and potential applications and possible extensions, such as the development of environmental-justice metrics for fossil-fuel suppliers.

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