Analysis: Blue States May Be Green, But They Have Very Pricey Energy

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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The “greenest” U.S. states may be more environmentally friendly than their counterparts, but residents generally end up paying much higher electricity bills.

Wallethub released a ranking Tuesday of the top 10 greenest U.S. states based on 20 environmental indicators, including municipal solid waste and carbon dioxide emissions per capita. Left out of those rankings are the costs of being “green.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation found key energy cost indicators for “green” states using using data from the Energy Information Administration and the American Automobile Association.

The top 10 “greenest” states paid 15.84 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh) on average for electricity, which is higher than the national average of 12.22 cents per kwh. Those states also paid on average $2.48 for a gallon of gasoline. The national average price of gasoline is $2.40.

Here’s the rankings of the “greenest” U.S. states and their energy costs:

1. Vermont — 17.05 cents per kwh, $2.42 per gallon

2: Massachusetts — 19.59 cents per kwh, $2.35 per gallon

3: Oregon — 10.40 cents per kwh, $2.77 per gallon

4: Washington — 9.24 cents per kwh, $2.91 per gallon

5: Connecticut — 19.28 cents per kwh, $2.49 per gallon

6: Maine — 15.95  cents per kwh, $2.39 per gallon

7: Minnesota — 12.13  cents per kwh, $2.33 per gallon

8: New York — 17.30 cents per kwh, $2.53 per gallon

9: New Hampshire — 18.48 cents per kwh, $2.30 per gallon

10: Rhode Island  — 18.98 cents per kwh, $2.37 per gallon

In contrast, here are the rankings of the “least green” U.S. states and their energy costs:

1: Wyoming — 10.57 cents per kwh, $2.32 per gallon

2: Montana — 10.61 cents per kwh, $2.37 per gallon

3: West Virginia — 11.31 cents per kwh, $2.39 per gallon

4: North Dakota — 8.98 cents per kwh, $2.36 per gallon

5: Oklahoma — 9.09 cents per kwh, $2.19 per gallon

6: Louisiana — 7.71 cents per kwh, $2.22 per gallon

7: Nebraska — 9.28 cents per kwh, $2.37 per gallon

8: Kentucky — 10.26 cents per kwh, $2.36 per gallon

9: Kansas — 11.95 cents per kwh, $2.26 per gallon

10: Arkansas — 9.18 cents per kwh, $2.18 per gallon

Someone living in one of least “green” states paid less for energy than the national average or the greener states, spending 9.89 cents per kilowatt-hour and $2.29 per gallon of gasoline.

Expensive power and gasoline disproportionately hurts poorer families and other lower-income groups since the poor tend to spend a higher proportion of their incomes on “basic needs” like power.

The average Americans’ power bill rose nearly 11 percent since former President Barack Obama took office, according to an analysis of government data previously published by TheDCNF.

When essential goods like electricity or gasoline becomes more expensive, the cost of producing goods and services that use electricity increases, effectively raising the price of almost everything. The higher prices are ultimately paid for by consumers, not industries.

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