New petrochemical facilities in Texas adding 1.1 million pounds of CO2 every year

Smokestacks releasing pollution
Joseph Sohm |

Petrochemical facilities which opened or expanded in Texas in 2022 are expected to add at least 1.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide each year to the atmosphere. Texas is already the top emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the nation and climate scientists tell us we must drastically reduce, not increase, global warming pollution in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. 

The 15 facilities and expansions completed in 2022 were expected to release an additional 1,138,419 CO2e per year with half of the project’s projected emissions still unknown. 

Expected CO2 emissions from new Texas facilitiesPhoto by Madelyn Abbott | Used by permission

The Equistar Chemicals Channelview Complex, located in Harris county, is expected to release the highest amount of emissions in 2022 from its newly constructed Channelview PDH/PP Units. The new propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit and the new polypropylene (PP) unit will  be able to produce 166,000 pounds of polypropylene pellets every hour. These pellets are known to escape into the environment during every stage of their lifecycle: from production, to transportation, and during final product manufacturing. 

Both of the highest expected emissions are from facilities in the Petrochemicals and Plastics industry. The INEOS Texas City Chemical Plant Boiler Project in Galveston, Texas is the second highest expected emissions producer for 2022 and has been operating since 2012. The Boiler Project adds 3 permanent gas-fired boilers and one temporary boiler to provide steam for a production unit. 

We determined the amount of total emissions released in the year 2021 within Texas by using the EPA’s ‘Flight Level Information on GreenHouse gases Tool’ (FLIGHT). FLIGHT is a database that provides information about greenhouse gas emissions from large facilities throughout the United States from the facilities’ required annual data reports. In 2021, Texas released a total of 48,001,946 CO2e per year in greenhouse gas emissions. The top two industry sectors from this year were petrochemicals and plastics which accounted for 69% of the total and liquified natural gas (LNG) with 15.9%.

Emissions in Texas are on the rise as fossil fuel infrastructure is continuing to expand throughout the state. We reviewed the potential emissions projected from Texas facilities that are being newly announced as well as facilities with plans on expanding. 139 projects have been newly announced and have begun their pre-construction stages of acquiring permits. The industry sectors of these projects range from liquified natural gas, natural gas, oil, petrochemicals and plastics, and synthetic fertilizers. The potential greenhouse gas emissions for these 139 projects is expected to be 43,446,228.52 CO2e per year. 


Madelyn Abbott


Madelyn is an intern with Environment Texas and will be graduating from UT Austin this May with a degree in Sustainability Studies.

Luke Metzger

Executive Director, Environment Texas Research & Policy Center

As the director of Environment Texas, Luke is a leading voice in the state for clean air, clean water, clean energy and open space. Luke has led successful campaigns to win permanent protection for the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend; to compel Exxon, Shell and Chevron Phillips to cut air pollution at three Texas refineries and chemical plants; and to boost funding for water conservation and state parks. The San Antonio Current has called Luke "long one of the most energetic and dedicated defenders of environmental issues in the state." He has been named one of the "Top Lobbyists for Causes" by Capitol Inside, received the President's Award from the Texas Recreation and Parks Society for his work to protect Texas parks, and was chosen for the inaugural class of "Next Generation Fellows" by the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT Austin. Luke, his wife, son and daughter are working to visit every state park in Texas.

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