Friday, October 24, 2008

How Green is your State?

Turns out we're pretty green in the Pacific Northwest, at least according to the US Energy Information Administration, which has just this week released information on carbon dioxide emissions per state in 2005. This interactive map makes looking at the data pretty easy.
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Lewis said...

It would be interesting to know the breakdown between energy production and transportation emissions. Obviously the PNW does well due to hydropower. It was interesting to see CA in the bottom 10, especially considering the auto emissions and air quality problems they have. WY takes it on the chin due to small population and high coal production.

CLeyerle said...

I agree, the data rather only whets the appetite for more.

It would be interesting to dig deeper into the numbers to see why, for example, WY measures so poorly. Certainly transportation must be a big element as people in WY probably drive more miles per capita than states where shopping and work may be closer to home, or where use of public transit is proportionally higher (like NY.)

Also affecting the rankings would be the ratio of population to industrial activity (in the case of WY that would be mining especially.) This may explain why states like CA fare better. (I think you meant to say that CA was in the top 10 didn't you?)

I was surprised that WA was only number 10--I would have thought it would be higher since 70% of our electrical generation is from hydropower. Being top 10 is great, but with our hydropower advantage it suggests that we're not doing very well on other measures.

As Kermit said, it's not easy being green.