Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Aside

We’re number one! U.S. News & World Report ranks Washington best state in the country

The State of Washington has been ranked the top state in the United States of America for 2019 by U.S. News & World Report, which looked at seventy different indicators to measure how well each state is delivering for its citizens.

“Cheap, climate-friendly electricity drives Washington’s economy, the nation’s fastest growing, according to the U.S. News’ Best States ranking of economic growth,” writes Levi Pulkkinen in a commentary explaining why Washington got the top spot.

“The tech-heavy state’s expectedly strong broadband network sits atop one of the nation’s best electrical systems, one well-positioned as the country shifts away from coal- and natural gas-generated electricity. The state expects to be coal-free by 2025, while still charging rates among the nation’s lowest.”

Governor Jay Inslee, a 2020 presidential candidate, is quoted in Pulkkinen’s piece as touting the value that clean energy projects have to a state’s economy.

“Renewable energy projects create significant new revenues for rural communities where most of these projects are sited,” Inslee told U.S. News & World Report. “New wind development projects in Washington generate millions of dollars in annual lease payments; much of it goes to small rural landowners.”

The other states in the top five were New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah, and Vermont. All but Utah are blue states that vote Democratic for President.

Meanwhile, four of the bottom five states are red states, most utterly dominated by Republicans. The bottom five states are New Mexico (which only just became a Democratic trifecta after electing a Democratic governor), West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Louisiana currently has a Democratic governor and Republican legislature; the other three states are under Republican rule.

California was ranked nineteenth out of fifty, while Oregon was ranked twenty-seventh and Idaho was ranked sixteenth. Alaska ranked forty-fourth, Hawaii ranked twenty-fourth, and Montana ranked twenty-ninth.

See the complete rankings here.