Dirty and Clean Energy in American States


Clean energy is an essential part of green living and we have dedicated several articles to this subject including our Clean Energy Series.

clean energy

Recently, our colleagues at Modernize.com took it a step further. They elaborated a comprehensive study called “America’s Cleanest and Dirtiest Energy States”, with focus on individual American states and their energy policies.

We have included some of their infographics below. However, if you’d like to know your state’s energy track record or learn which states are leading (or failing) the push for renewable energy sources, read the original article America’s Cleanest and Dirtiest Energy States.

The top ten American states when it comes to clean energy are:

clean energy

As the authors explain: “Maybe Washington, California, and Oregon come as no surprise – we associate them with environmental concern and the geographical variety to embrace multiple renewable technologies simultaneously. But the rest of the states that top the renewables ranking embody a striking mix of size, population, political preference, and socioeconomic standing. If this ranking indicates anything, it’s that success with renewables is possible in any combination of circumstances.”

clean energy

The bottom ten American states when it comes to dirty energy are:

clean energy


Perhaps the most concerning byproduct of fossil fuel energy production is pollution. That term covers many kinds of potentially harmful emissions, but the best-known variety is carbon dioxide (CO2). The EIA offers carbon dioxide data from 1990–2012, so we’ve tracked the worst emissions offenders over that time:

clean energy

The authors add: “Predictably, Texas is at the top – but what about California or New York? Why do states that ranked high in renewable energy production make the list? The answer is simple: Carbon dioxide emissions aren’t just a function of energy production. It’s no accident that the top-ranked states are almost all quite populous; the more people, the more energy they consume. That translates to emissions resulting from cars, heat, and other comforts modern Americans depend upon in daily life. But don’t think emissions are an intransigent evil: Some states are making great strides.”

clean energy

Where does your state fall and what role can you play in changing it? Please share your comments and ideas below.

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