Sierra Rayne performs a complex economic analysis/comparison on Northeastern Carbon trends. He hit on something.
Although some of the stuff in the analysis is unanswered the most important trend is per capita figures for comparison.
Might I, not nearly so smart as Rayne, suggest it’s because of the death of the Northeast? out-migration of manufacturing and energy intense activities. The developement of an energy usage decline to a service economy with a declining economic base?
Look at the essay and graphs and see what you think. The trend was there before the region went to new enviro regs. You get, sometimes, what you wish for–no graphs on the number of people who left the workforce or went on welfare dependency or moved off the grid with part-time and less productive work. The elite rich may be growing in the Northeast, but the economy may be declining in energy intense production.