Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Exclusive: America's 10 Cleanest and 10 Dirtiest States

Business
Exclusive: America's 10 Cleanest and 10 Dirtiest States

Modernize, a site that helps people make energy efficiency upgrades to their home, such as adding solar panels, has put together an extensive report on the state of renewable energy in America. Using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) from 1960 to 2013, America’s Cleanest and Dirtiest Energy States analyzes everything from total energy production from renewable sources to carbon dioxide emissions over time.

Many have urged a swift transition to renewable energy in the U.S. and worldwide. Last month, Greenpeace released a report claiming 100 percent renewable energy is possible for all by 2050. And earlier this summer, researchers from Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley developed a state-by-state plan to convert the U.S. to 100 percent renewable energy in less than 40 years. Aspen, Colorado, Burlington, Vermont and Greensburg, Kansas have all phased out fossil fuels, and several more U.S. cities have vowed to do so.

So, here is Modernize's breakdown for total renewable energy production by state:

The EIA list of renewable energy sources runs the gamut from wind and solar, but also more controversial energy sources such as hydropower and biofuels, such as ethanol. Washington, which relies heavily on hydropower, tops the list.

This map provides a state-by-state breakdown of renewable energy use:

Read page 1

Just looking at total energy production doesn't give you the whole picture, though. When you look at renewable energy generation as a percentage of the states' total energy production, you see that several states are already producing nearly 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources.

And then there's the dirtiest energy states. Wyoming tops the list with less than 0.5 percent of its energy coming from renewable sources.

Unsurprisingly, the top 10 states that contribute the most carbon dioxide emissions are some of the most populous states. Indiana and Louisiana are the only two states on the list that aren't also one of the top 10 most populous states.

And lastly, some states have made significant strides in the last 20 years to clean up their act. Here's the 10 most improved C02 emitters since 1990:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

20 Celebrities That Have Gone Solar

Processed Meats Linked to Cancer, WHO Report Says

4 Solar Powered Homes Designed by Students That Will Blow You Away

The Solar Revolution Is for Everyone

A sea turtle rescued from Israel's devastating oil spill. MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP via Getty Images

Rescue workers in Israel are using a surprising cure to save the sea turtles harmed by a devastating oil spill: mayonnaise!

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A "digital twin of Earth." European Space Agency

As the weather grows more severe, and its damages more expensive and fatal, current weather predictions fall short in providing reliable information on Earth's rapidly changing systems.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Melting ice in places such as Greenland could stop a critical ocean current. Paul Souders / Getty Images

The climate crisis could push an important ocean current past a critical tipping point sooner than expected, new research suggests.

Read More Show Less
California Gov. Gavin Newsom tours the Chevron oil field west of Bakersfield, where a spill of more than 900,000 gallons flowed into a dry creek bed, on July 24, 2019. Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

Accusing California regulators of "reckless disregard" for public "health and safety," the environmental advocacy group Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday sued the administration of Gov. Gavin Newsom for approving thousands of oil and gas drilling and fracking projects without the required environmental review.

Read More Show Less
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Kenyan professor Wangari Maathai poses during the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark on December 15, 2009. Olivier Morin / AFP / Getty Images

By Kate Whiting

From Greta Thunberg to Sir David Attenborough, the headline-grabbing climate change activists and environmentalists of today are predominantly white. But like many areas of society, those whose voices are heard most often are not necessarily representative of the whole.

Read More Show Less