Ranking the states from most green to least green regarding electricity and Greenhouse Gases.
Why I ranked the States for Electricity and Greenhouse Gases
I read an Open Letter to the California Air Resources Board regarding the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal. I really liked what the CARB letter said and as an environmental person I decided to draft a similar letter but to focus on Tennessee and the EPA and attempt to get local names involved in the signing and submission process. While drafting I was trying to articulate why Tennessee would be more successful than California using a similar program. My logic was that here in Tennessee we generate a lot more nuclear and hydro electricity than they do in California. This might mean that dollar for dollar money would go further in electric car programs to help the atmosphere. I decided to dig up the data and take a real look at it to see if my argument had any merit.
What data did I locate?
The best data that I could locate on electricity production/consumption was federal data from 2013:
There were other sources available but these seemed the most reliable for comparing data from different states and I made a subjective determination to utilize them. I used the data on green electricity production (not including ethanol), nuclear electric production, total electric production and total electric consumption. Each of these values were available for all 50 states.
I also grabbed census data from 2010 to have the population for each state:
Ranking the States
I put all of the data into a spread sheet and created an equation to rank the states. First I summed nuclear and green (non-ethanol) electric production and labelled this non-ghg production. Then I utilized the equation:
STATE = N/TP * N/TC * POP
N = non-greenhouse gas electric production
TP = total electric production
TC = total electric consumption
POP = population
STATE = Raw Score
This number was then weighted by taking each states number and dividing it by the sum of all states and multiplying by 100 to create a percentage. This was done to determine a fair compensation percentage for states based off their ability to benefit the environment and the population of the state. The idea would be to provide fair compensation (more people = more compensation for a state from an EPA fine) weighted by the states ability to positively impact air quality.
Compensation % = STATE/ΣSTATE * 100
I then calculated the percentage of the total USA population that each state had.
Population % = POP/ΣPOP * 100
Finally I divided the Compensation % by the Population %
Final Value = Compensation %/ Population %
These final values were ordered to create a list of states and the following is their ranking for benefit Per Capita. I found it interesting that my rankings were somewhat similar to a Forbes.com ranking that examined a much broader set of parameters. Here is a calculator that allows you to compare two states to see how much more green one is than the other based on these scores:
Below is a table with the numerical results: