These are the greenest states in the U.S. How’d Pa. do? | Friday Morning Coffee

April 16, 2021 7:15 am

Good Friday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

It’s a truism that a healthy environment means a healthy economy. So the folks at WalletHub, a financial literarcy website, took a look at efforts in all 50 states to balance those twin demands.

WalletHub’s wonks graded the states, including Pennsylvania, across 25 key metrics, including air and water quality; the number of green buildings per-capita and the number of solar power systems per-household, and the share of renewable energy consumption by household.

Below, a look at the Top and Bottom 5 states, and how Pennsylvania stacked up, along with some expert commentary.

Source: WalletHub

The Top 5 Greenest States:
1. Vermont
2. New York
3. Massachusetts
4. Maryland
5. California

The Top 5 Least Green States:
1. West Virginia
2. Louisiana
3. Mississippi
4. Alabama
5. Kentucky

How Pennsylvania stacked up:
Pennsylvania finished 20th overall nationwide, according to the WalletHub analysis. The state also finished:

    • 48th – Air Quality
    • 7th – Soil Quality
    • 20th – Water Quality
    • 42nd –  Percentage of Renewable Energy Consumption
    • 25th – Energy Consumption per-capita
    • 5th – Gasoline Consumption (in gallons) per-capita

What the Experts Said:

When it comes to the policies states and local officials can enact to make their communities more environmentally friendly, renewable energy portfolio standards are key, Mark Z. Jacobson, a civil engineering professor at Stanford University told WalletHub.

“Protecting the environment by going to renewable energy protects economic growth far more than does maintain fossil energy. In fact, electrifying all energy and providing it with Wind-Water-Solar (WWS) electricity reduces the need for energy by 57 percent worldwide and, with the lower cost per unit energy of WWS versus fossil fuels, the annual costs of energy by about 60 percent,” Jacobson said. “On top of that are health and climate cost savings. In other words, maintaining fossil fuels worsens the economy relative to transitioning.”

The Pennsylvania Capitol building. (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)

Our Stuff.
Stephen Caruso 
surveys the landscape in the next big fight over election reform: The return of Voter ID

Already in quarantine, Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancasterofficially has tested positive for COVID-19Caruso also reports.

State health officials have extended the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause after a Pa. woman, and five others experienced blood clots, Cassie Miller reports.

Our partners at the Philadelphia Gay News catch up with Dr. Tyler Titus, an Erie school board member, who’s looking to become the state’s first openly transgender person to win a county executive’s race.

On our Commentary Page this morning, opinion regular Mark O’Keefe handicaps the odds of lawmakers finally passing a bill allowing local cops to use radar. And a Penn State expert says fewer people are drinking tap water, and explains why that’s a public health crisis in the making.

En la Estrella-Capital: El sistema de desempleo de Pa.experimentará una actualización largamente buscada en junio, aunque las preocupaciones todavía persisten. Y el Departamento de Salud de Pa. y los defensores lanzan una gira de vacunación a nivel estatal para llegar a las comunidades desatendidas.

Photo via

With COVID-19 cases on the rise among children, parents are wondering what’s safe, the Inquirer reports.
Cash-paying straphangers in Allegheny County have concerns over fare changes, the Post-Gazette reports.
PennLive takes the pulse of the Harrisburg mayoral race, asking, ‘How’s Mayor Eric Papenfuse doing?’
A new recovery clinic at St. Luke’s Hospital in Allentown will treat COVID-19 long-haulers, the Morning Call reports.
Union workers in Luzerne County rallied for a $15 minimum wage, the Citizens’ Voice reports.
The Southern York County schools have voted to retire their Native American logo, the York Daily Record reports.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:

Philly police will ask for more money as the department’s taser roll-out falls short, WHYY-FM reports.
Berks County’s DA has ruled that the police killing of a local man was justifiedWITF-FM reports.
Taylor Miller, one of Erie County’s most high-profile advocates fighting opioid addiction, has died, aged 27. Authorities are investigating her death as an accidental overdose, GoErie reports. 
A proposed medical marijuana dispensary has drawn the opposition of local officials in Washington County, the Observer-Reporter reports.
Landlords say tenants nationwide are not taking advantage of rent relief reports.
Newly confirmed U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra was questioned about abortion funding and immigration during a budget hearing Thursday, Roll Call reports.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out this morning to our old friend and colleague, veteran Harrisburg PR exec, Jeanette Krebs, who celebrates today. And best wishes go out in advance to another veteran PR hand, Dave La Torre, who celebrates on Saturday. Congratulations all around, friends.

Many Happy — and Delicious — Returns Dept.
York County bakers, Stauffer’s, maker of the ‘Original Animal Cracker,’ is celebrating its 150th anniversary, our friends at PennLive report. And “for the occasion the company early this summer is releasing a limited-edition Commemorative Bear Jug filled with original or chocolate animal crackers. The collectible jugs feature nostalgic labels that pay homage to packaging from the 1800s,” PennLive also notes.

Heavy Rotation.
My GenX heart rejoices this morning: There’s new Liz Phair music in the world: “Spanish Doors,” taken from her first solo record in a decade “Soberish” which gets a release in June. The new long-player finds Phair reunited with producer Brad Wood, who did such incredible work on Phair’s first three LPs, including the legendary “Exile in Guyville.”

Friday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link.
dropped another, losing 4-2 to Seattle, on Thursday night. After a promising start, the Os have dropped to 4th place in the AL Eastfour games in back of first place Boston.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.