Part of the Center for Environmental Policy’s research agenda for the past several years has been to construct a modern state-level environmental index and ranking. This project was motivated by the discovery that the most recent comprehensive environmental index was the 1991-1992 Green Index by Bob Hall and Mary Lee Kerr, which is now very outdated. The effort to create a new state environmental index has been led by the Center for Environmental Policy (CEP) Director Daniel Fiorino and PhD candidate Riordan Frost, with assistance from Manjyot Bhan, Jenn Hatch, and Zach Rybarczyk.
On Wednesday, February 8th, Riordan gave a guest lecture at the University of Michigan on the project, titled “How Green is Your State? Constructing a modern state environmental index.” The lecture was sponsored by the university’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP), which is directed by Barry Rabe, who was a Visiting Scholar in Residence in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University last semester. The lecture was part of the ‘CLOSUP in the Classroom’ series, and took place during the ‘Energy and Environmental Policy Research’ class taught by CLOSUP Fellow Sarah Mills. Students in the class were joined by other students, faculty, and members of the public for Riordan’s presentation on the index, which focused on the construction of the Eco-Efficiency Index and its thematic sub-index, the Air, Climate, and Energy (ACE) Index. The lecture was followed by a lively discussion of the index, its implications, and the possible reasons for the variation in state performance that it found, all of which have proved useful for shaping the future of the project. Watch the video of Riordan's lecture on the CLOSUP website.