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Environment America was joined by the Sierra Club and the National Audubon Society in applauding several states for policy initiatives to increase renewable energy, save energy and require more clean and efficient cars.

Environment America's report, "America's Clean Energy Stars: State Actions Leading America to a New Energy Future," singled out 21 states for adopting policies to promote clean energy that can provide a model for the entire nation.

In developing the report, Environment America researchers looked at five areas of cutting-edge clean energy policy adopted by the state governments: renewable portfolio standards, the Clean Cars Program, utility energy-efficiency programs, energy-efficiency standards for appliances and building energy codes.

Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Wisconsin were highlighted as "rising star" clean energy states in recognition of their strong recent actions to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable sources of energy.

California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington were highlighted as "gold star" clean energy states for adopting strong policies in at least four of these areas.

Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Pennsylvania and Vermont were highlighted as "silver star" clean energy states for adopting strong policies in at least two areas and meaningful policies in one to two others.

Also, Environment America was joined by key members of Congress, along with representatives of the Sierra Club and the National Audubon Society, in calling on Congress to follow the lead of the states by passing a strong energy bill that increases renewable energy, fuel economy and energy conservation.

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