MORE: FORBES MAGAZINE SAYS WV WORST GREEN STATE

(12/22/2007)

By Bob Weaver

Surely somebody is having their way with West Virginia if Forbes Magazine's study is anywhere near correct, saying WV is the worst environmentally sound state in the USA.

At the bottom, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Indiana and West Virginia at No. 50.

All suffer from a mix of toxic waste, lots of pollution and consumption and no clear plans to do anything about it. "Expect them to remain that way," says Forbes.

The Forbes methodology ranked each state in six equally weighted categories: carbon footprint, air quality, water quality, hazardous waste management, policy initiatives and energy consumption.

Because carbon dioxide is the most prevalent greenhouse gas, carbon footprint provides a fairly good example of overall emissions levels.

For air quality, Forbes relied on the American Lung Association's 2007 State of the Air Report.

With the state's DEP about to eliminate 150 more protected streams to allow more mountaintop removal, the natural gas industry making a major push, the state's water rights being monitored by the former CEO of West Virginia-American Water Company, and the nation's coal business being monitored by the former CEO of Massey Energy - there should be hordes of business interests flocking to the state.

FORBES ranking from best to worst

1 Vermont 43.6
2 Oregon 43.6
3 Washington 43.4
4 Hawaii 41.3
5 Maryland 40.4
6 Connecticut 39.8
7 New Jersey 39.5
8 Rhode Island 38.7
9 New York 38.1
10 Arizona 37.9
11 Massachusetts 37.8
12 Idaho 37.2
13 Colorado 37.2
14 California 37.1
15 Minnesota 36.3
16 Wisconsin 35.7
17 Nevada 35.1
18 New Mexico 34.7
19 New Hampshire 33.7
20 Florida 32.9
21 South Dakota 32.6
22 Montana 31.5
23 Virginia 30.5
24 Michigan 30.3
25 Maine 29.9
26 North Carolina 29.5
27 Illinois 28.6
28 Utah 28.5
29 Georgia 28.2
30 Delaware 28
31 Kansas 27.7
32 Pennsylvania 27.5
33 Nebraska 27.5
34 Texas 26.5
35 Iowa 26.4
36 South Carolina 25.3
37 Wyoming 24.8
38 Oklahoma 24.2
39 Ohio 23.4
40 Alaska 22.7
41 Missouri 22.6
42 North Dakota 22.2
43 Tennessee 22.2
44 Arkansas 20.8
45 Kentucky 20.4
46 Mississippi 17.6
47 Louisiana 17
48 Alabama 15.8
49 Indiana 15.3
50 West Virginia 14.2


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