A couple of years ago in late 2007, Forbes magazine published a report entitled, “America’s Greenest States”. The methodology used to rank the states weighted six categories equally. These were carbon footprint, air quality, water quality, hazardous waste management, policy initiatives and energy consumption per capita. The data were gathered from several reputable sources both private and public.
As one might guess, the states that ranked the best in environmental quality in this order were Vermont, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. What one might not guess were the next four which were Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. So, those are the highest eight states with all others falling below. Both Florida and California were in the top 20. Our neighbor, Michigan, was 24th. Illinois was 27th. Kentucky was 45th and Ohio was 39th.
Guess which states were at the bottom of the list? The bottom three were Alabama, Indiana, and West Virginia. Indiana was ranked number 49 of 50 states for the worst environmental quality in all of the United States of America. This is worse than a disgrace. It shows exactly where our priorities have been. It shows how little regard for the environment there has been in Indiana state government. Worse than that, it shows how little regard there has been for the health of the citizens of the Hoosier state. Poor environmental quality equals more and more risk for all who live here.
With the coming of a time when the state government of Indiana is controlled entirely by the Republican Party, maybe it is a time when the GOP can show what can be done to improve the environment for the good of all. No excuses allowed.