A Ranking of States by Electricity Production/Consumption related to Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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:



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:

Rank State Final Value
1 VT 5.482656
2 NH 4.777760
3 WA 4.281077
4 OR 3.893848
5 SC 3.775379
6 ME 3.323970
7 CT 2.409114
8 NC 2.091080
9 ID 2.059906
10 AZ 1.920453
11 NY 1.868505
12 GA 1.757706
13 TN 1.701424
14 AL 1.606049
15 NJ 1.518819
16 IL 1.126291
17 FL 1.098061
18 MD 1.030446
19 WI 0.930284
20 MI 0.920196
21 NV 0.878881
22 MN 0.808232
23 HI 0.803606
24 VA 0.626147
25 MA 0.620662
26 MS 0.538241
27 MO 0.528205
28 SD 0.447771
29 IA 0.423610
30 CA 0.406837
31 PA 0.384003
32 AR 0.304954
33 NE 0.299395
34 KS 0.274584
35 MT 0.255585
36 DE 0.121876
37 OH 0.120772
38 RI 0.117833
39 LA 0.060904
40 OK 0.040605
41 TX 0.030870
42 ND 0.030772
43 CO 0.021380
44 IN 0.015258
45 KY 0.010783
46 WV 0.009031
47 NM 0.007124
48 WY 0.004626
49 AK 0.003272
50 UT 0.000700