The Brookings Institution just published a national ranking of metropolitan areas, based on their per-capita carbon emissions, and guess what? Six of the 12 "cleanest" large cities are in California. There’s more: when measuring per capita carbon emissions from residential energy use, 10 of the top 12 metro areas are in California.
Now this shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with California’s tough residential energy efficiency standards and our reliance for electricity on natural gas, hydro and nuclear power (rather than coal). And here’s one of the state’s best-kept secrets: our annual vehicle miles traveled per capita is the fifth-lowest of the 50 states.
All of which begs the question: how in the world can California reduce its carbon footprint by another 29% by 2020 when our per capita energy use and carbon emissions are already relatively puny? (Hint: it won’t happen inside the borders of California!)