Over at the Center for American Progress (CAP), they do a lot of great work, including on energy and the environment. For instance, this morning they came out with their “2015 Climate Guide To Governors,” which ranks the 50 governors into three categories:
Green governors not only accept climate change science but are proactively implementing policies to fight climate change and prepare their states for the impacts of extreme weather. Orange governors either accept climate science or have not openly denied it but also either have mixed climate and energy records or have not yet taken serious action to help their state prepare for its impacts. If a governor has made no public statement on climate science, has not taken action, or has openly objected to federal safeguards that help blunt the impacts of climate change, they are placed in the red category. Governors who deny the reality of mainstream climate science are added to the red “Climate Deniers” category, further marked by striped lines.
So who are the “greenest” governors when it comes to promoting climate action and clean energy? According to CAP, the honors go to California Gov. Jerry Brown, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, Delaware Gov. Jack Martel, Hawaii Gov. David Ige, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, and Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee. Congratulations to all of them, and keep up the great work! Also check out the “orange”-rated governors, who have a mixed record, with definite room for improvement in promoting energy efficiency, wind and solar power.
Some of the worst governors in the country when it comes to clean energy and climate, not surprisingly, tend to come from major fossil fuel-producing states like West Virginia and North Dakota. However, a few of the lowest-ranked governors actually come from states, such as Florida, South Carolina and Arizona, with few fossil fuel resources but abundant sun and wind. Clearly, those governors are missing out on a major business opportunity for their states, not to mention one that’s overwhelmingly popular. It seems to us that those governors might want to figure out how to move from “red” to “green” – and quickly!