That Washington state boasts a booming economy is hardly a shock. The state is home to Amazon.com, after all, and a mature tech sector led by Microsoft. Washington apples, wheat, hops and grapes feed and inebriate the world. Boeing Co. aircraft circle it.
But Washington has a supercharger: power.
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. 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.
Aging hydroelectric dams provide most of the electricity Washington uses or exports, but windmills and solar arrays are increasingly common sights on the arid rolling hills east of the Cascade Mountains. Gov. Jay Inslee, the state’s leading clean energy evangelist-turned-presidential hopeful, describes those projects as doubly fruitful: Customers get clean energy, and rural residents get economic opportunity.
“Washington state is an example of how climate action and a strong economy go hand in hand,” Inslee told U.S. News & World Report.
SOURCE: Levi Pulkkinen
U.S. News & World Report