By Bruce Alpert
WASHINGTON -- Here's a surprise. A newsurvey ranks Louisiana 29th among the 50 states when it comes to the environment, though some question its methodology.
According to the report by MPHonline.org, Kansas, thanks largely to its wind turbines established along its plains, is the No. 1 green state, followed by Washington and California. MPHO says it is an online source for information on public health issues.
The least green states, according to MPHonline, are Texas, Maryland and Mississippi.
Louisiana secures its middle-of-the-pack ranking, despite scoring 49th in air quality, 44th in carbon dioxide emissions and 44th in water quality.
Louisiana scored 20th best in the mass transit category (using mass transit reduces gas consumption and vehicle emissions), 26th in renewables and 19th in recycling.
Louisiana ranked 28th for per capita gas consumption. In that category, Delaware and New York used the least gas per capita, while drivers in Wyoming, a rural state, used the most, followed closely by Texas.
Anne Rolfes, founding director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an environmental group, isn't impressed.
"The oil and chemical and fossil fuel industry in Louisiana would love stories about how green our state is," Rolfes said. "They love to coast off of positive scores for recycling. Meanwhile our state is their dumping ground for carbon emissions, for carcinogens and for everything dirty under the sun."
Rolfes said the state cut the local match for transit projects, and the Public Service Commission recently moved to scale back energy efficiency rules.
MPHonline.org said it based its ranking on the Good Guide for air and water quality data, information from Wikipedia on transit information, and state agencies for information on other categories.