Interactive Assets

What if ESG risks transcend politics?

Hover your mouse over each state for a pop-up box that shows the annual increase in total renewable energy (RE) required to meet the state's RE standards or goals. States with blue pop-up boxes were won by Hilary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, while states with red boxes were won by Donald Trump. The color of the states is based on the RE mix proposed in each state's RE standards or goals (e.g. New York has a proposed mix of 100% by 2040). Click on each state to see additional information on the companies* headquartered within the state - data such as how much more the CEOs get paid than employees - as well as the total renewable energy generated by electric utilities in 2018, among other statistics.

Red States (Trump 2016)
Blue States (Clinton 2016)
Alaska Hawaii Alabama Arkansas Arizona California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Iowa Idaho Illinois Indiana Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Massachusetts Maryland Maine Michigan Minnesota Missouri Mississippi Montana North Carolina North Dakota Nebraska New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico Nevada New York Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Virginia Vermont Washington Wisconsin West Virginia Wyoming District of Columbia
Renewable Energy Target / Goal Mandated by Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)
No target
0% 100%

Politics chart description

*For company statistics by state, the firms included were constituents of the MSCI USA Investable Market Index as of Feb. 10, 2020. Renewable-portfolio standards are state-level mandates or goals that specify a percentage of renewable electricity (wind, solar, hydropower and biomass) that utilities must supply to consumers. In the box that appears when clicking on each state, ESG leaders were those companies rated “AA” or “AAA” and laggards were those rated “B” or “CCC” on our AAA-CCC scale. Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures, U.S. Energy Information Administration, MSCI ESG Research LLC.


With the 2020 U.S. presidential election drawing nearer and the political polarization in America remaining pronounced, we wanted to know whether political divisions between states would be reflected in the ESG records of companies headquartered in each. While we observed some differences in metrics like CEO pay and average taxes paid by companies headquartered in the state, those differences were the exception — suggesting how U.S. companies manage ESG risks largely transcends politics.

Yet the ambition to introduce more renewable energy into a state’s utilities largely fell along states’ party-voting patterns in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. On average, utilities in blue states provided much more renewable energy to their citizens than did those in red states. Blue states also all had goals for green energy generation spelled out in their Renewable Portfolio Standard, while a majority of red states did not. Click on each state above to see how current clean energy generation compares to state mandates for the future.

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