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An Energy Scorecard for the American States

States ranked according to energy, economy and environment

charles simsDr. Charles Sims, Baker Center Fellow, publishes data and ranks states according to energy, economy and environment.

Energy, economic performance, and environmental quality are fundamentally linked. Energy industries provide valuable jobs and tax revenues, but those same jobs can also harm our environmental quality through the process of resource extraction and the generation of electricity.  States with large service sector economies avoid some energy-related impacts to the natural environment but also tend to put a greater energy burden on household finances. Lower energy burdens facilitate the attraction of business but also encourage more energy use and with it the potential for environmental degradation.

This 2nd annual Energy Scorecard for the American States, provides data and a ranking on five criteria that capture different facets of a state’s energy footprint.

  1. energy assets and production
  2. economy and energy spending
  3. diverse energy portfolio
  4. affordability for residents
  5. ability to meet electricity needs
  6. environment and carbon emissions

The top five states with the best ratings for these factors were Illinois, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and California with Illinois ranked number one due to its diverse energy portfolio and service-based economy. The bottom five states were Alaska, Vermont, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Maine. Maine ranked 50 for lack of energy assets, inefficient energy use, an unbalanced portfolio and un-affordable energy. It is hoped that the states will use these rankings to assess and reflect on their own performance and identify ways to improve their natural environments and well-being of citizens.

The Baker Center appreciates the financial support of the Tennessee Valley Authority in conducting this research.

The complete publication can be found here: Sims-Energyscorecard_2016

View a visual representation of the scorecard at

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