FARGO - North Dakota finished last among the states in a ranking for making progress in energy efficiency and conservation.

The scorecard was released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a group that has backing by the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.

The group also listed North Dakota as among the 10 states "most in need of improvement," in pushing energy-efficiency, along with neighboring South Dakota and Wyoming.

Minnesota, by contrast, was ranked among the top 10 most energy-efficient states, placing No. 8.

The report concluded that North Dakota lacks many policies that encourage an energy-efficient economy.

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"Energy efficiency is America's abundant, untapped energy resource and the states continue to press forward to reap its economic and environmental benefits," said Steven Nadel, the council's executive director.

Massachusetts displaced California as the No. 1 state. Wyoming was ranked No. 49 in the scorecard, which includes all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

For more on the story read Friday's Forum.