California tops in green city rankings, but can it stay there?

The Golden State may be strapped but its clean, green reputation remains intact. New rankings of the cleanest and greenest cities from the National Resources Defense Council gave California cities six of the top 15 rankings, including four of the top 10, as part of its annual SmartCities research project.

San Francisco, ranked second only behind Seattle, was the highest ranking California city. Other California cities in the top 15 included Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Jose. Factors measured in the rankings included air quality, recycling, green building, sufficient amounts of green space and energy production, among others. But the dark cloud of the budget crisis and subsequent cutbacks could threaten California's clean, green reputation.