Well, I’m sure many have their own opinions on this, but the Huffington Post recently wrote an article on the top ten greenest states in the US. The top three on their list was: (1) Vermont, (2) Maine and (3) New Hampshire. Apparently, Vermont releases the fewest carcinogenic toxins as well as the smallest carbon footprint in the US.
I would argue California hands down. I say this not only because I live in California and love it, I say this because I have taken an environmental law course while at UC Davis and seen how California has taken the lead in many situations when it comes to experimenting with environmental law and creating new federal standards. In some cases, such as regulating emissions from private vehicles, federal law preempts states from making their own, more stringent regulations. However, there is an exception for California. California vehicle smog standards are a lot more stringent than federal smog standards. I lived in Texas for a a while with my parents, and while we were there, they had to buy a new car, so they made sure to buy a vehicle that would meet California smog standards. It took some effort to track one down in Texas, but they managed to do it.
The article that deniseapril provided says more about the overall impact of the state than the per-capita pollution levels. Of course Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire produce very small amounts of carbon and toxic waste! They’re tiny states with tiny populations! As for Colorado, Montana, etc… they have low population density. Low population density means that people must travel farther to buy stuff, go to work, etc. That’s not good for the environment at all.
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