Not so green
Everything is bigger in Texas, even the negative impact it has on the environment, a new study finds.
Ahead of Earth Day (April 22), personal finance site WalletHub analyzed all 50 states, looking at 27 metrics across three categories: environmental quality, eco-friendly behaviors, and climate-change contributions.
Texas' overall ranking is an abysmal No. 41, making it one of the least green places in America.
The Lone Star State comes in at No. 48 in environmental quality, No. 28 in eco-friendly behaviors, and No. 37 in climate-change contributions. Under climate-change contributions, WalletHub analyzed carbon-dioxide, methane, nitrous-oxide, and fluorinated greenhouse-gas emissions per capita. The higher the number, the worse a state performs in that category.
Despite an overall poor showing, Texas claims a few top spots in individual metrics, performing best in renewable portfolio standards (No. 1), states with electronic waste recycling programs (No. 1), and corporate clean energy procurement index score (No. 5). On the other side of the spectrum, Texas performs worst in the number of alternative-fuel stations per capita (No. 40), air quality (No. 41), water quality (No. 44), and energy consumption per capita (No. 45).
So why exactly is this a WalletHub story? What does this have to do with your money?
"Eco-friendliness and personal finance are related," the report says. "Our environmental and financial needs are the same in many areas: providing ourselves with sustainable, clean drinking water and food, for example. We also spend money through our own consumption and taxes in support of environmental security."
Vermont ranks first in environmentally friendliness, landing at No. 1 in environmental quality, No. 3 in eco-friendly behaviors, and No. 25 climate-change contributions.
Eight states have worse records than Texas: Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, North Dakota, Wyoming, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Louisiana.
While not so green right now, Texas has made great strides in wind energy in recent years. The American Wind Energy Association's annual report for 2018 shows the Lone Star State is home to roughly one-fourth of all U.S. wind power production. If Texas were a country, the wind energy group says, it would rank fifth in the world for wind power capacity, with nearly 25,000 megawatts installed. And with nearly 7,000 megawatts of wind energy projects under construction or development at the end of 2018, Texas is adding more wind energy capacity than what all but two other states actually have installed.
This story originally ran on CultureMap.