We’re number 3!

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Forbes just released a ranking of America’s greenest and least green states.

On top: Vermont, Oregon and Washington. All have low carbon dioxide emissions per capita (or “carbon footprints”), strong policies to promote energy efficiency and high air quality, as indicated by their major metro areas that are low in smog and ozone pollution. They’re also among the states with the most buildings (on a per capita basis) that have received the U.S. Green Building Council’s benchmark certification, known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

To be fair, this ranking is in part a result of geographic luck. Unlike in many of southern California’s valleys, smog does not tend to get trapped over our urban areas. And it rains. Our low carbon emission could be mainly a result of getting most of our electricity from hydropower (Uh oh, global warming – glaciers come back!!!!). Here in Washington about 30% of our land is federally owned (national Forests and parks) with 10% protected wilderness.

So who’s at the bottom? Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Indiana and, at No. 50, West Virginia. All suffer from a mix of toxic waste, lots of pollution and consumption and no clear plans to do anything about it. Expect them to remain that way.

A depressing final line to the article, isn’t it?

Anyway, it was an interesting read. How did your state do?

3 Responses to “We’re number 3!”


  1. 1 littlebangtheory November 22, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Massachusetts is number 11, so of course I’m jealous as hell.

    ‘Course, Vermont is about a fifteen-minute drive for me, so I get to inhale that #1 air pretty frequently.

    Seriously, it’s amazing there, with little industry and lots of protected land. Not saying that that doesn’t generate its own set of problems, but they seem to be managing pretty well.

    Congrats on your ranking, I always saw that in Washington.

  2. 2 littlebangtheory November 22, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    PS, is that Lake Chelan? It’s beautiful, at any rate!


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