Why Price Carbon—Can’t We Just Regulate It?

Getting creative with carbon pricing (Part 3)
Original Sightline Institute graphic, available under our free use policy.

Original Sightline Institute graphic, available under our free use policy.

Most Americans—including most Republicans—want to regulate carbon pollution. Oregon and Washington have already set legally binding limits on the climate-changing gas. Next, climate change warriors in Olympia and Salem are trying to make those limits enforceable. They’re considering hard emissions caps enforced through limited permits and complemented by an array of targeted policies.

But what if Oregon and Washington’s lawmakers fail to insert sharp incisors in their beyond-carbon rules? Desperate for revenue to fulfill its McCleary obligations, Washington might  …  read more »


Ambre Energy Bungles News of Its Own Demise

Did the Australian firm forget to tell its North American underlings about its impending implosion?

In case you missed the news, Ambre Energy—the struggling Australian energy startup that has been trying to launch a coal export business in the Pacific Northwest—has agreed to sell its entire North American coal business to its main creditor, a risk-loving private equity firm registered in the Cayman Islands.

The documents describing the proposed sale, available on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website, show that Ambre will part with its entire North American coal mining and export operation for the not-so-princely sum  …  read more »

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What Happened When a Hazardous Substance Train Derailed on a Puget Sound Beach

True story from 2011 raises questions about railroad's ability to manage oil trains.

If you’ve ever wondered how an oil train derailment might go down on the shores of Puget Sound, it might look a bit like the winter night derailment in 2011 that spilled sodium hydroxide on a beach at Chambers Bay south of Tacoma. It was hardly the kind of disaster that has resulted from oil trains derailing, but it still makes for a rather instructive lesson in how these things happen.

Sodium hydroxide, more commonly known as lye, is  …  read more »


Weekend Reading 11/21/14

How our taxes subsidize traffic congestion; and more.
Original illustration by Nina Montenegro of ghosttide.com.


A new report from Frontier Group and TransitCenter makes a provocative (and almost certainly true) point: federal tax policy subsidizes traffic congestion. The IRS lets employers offer their employees a tax-free parking subsidy of up to $250 per month—which, by the report’s estimate, boosts national rush-hour traffic by roughly 820,000 vehicles per day. Worse, the tax subsidy for parking focuses the benefits on upper-income Americans—the very people who need the subsidies the least.


Emily Badger has an  …  read more »

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The Hero’s Journey: Pro tips from Star Wars

How to win (or lose) the "Story Wars" (Part III).

A Mom Rediscovers Her Bike

And begins to get what neighborhood greenways could be.

The Washington Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce Report is Out

Blue ribbon panel says: let’s price carbon!

All the World’s Carbon Pricing Systems in One Animated Map

Plus, answers to decisionmakers' top eight questions about them.

Event: Will a Carbon Tax Fly in Oregon?

Kristin Eberhard and the Corvallis League of Women Voters talk carbon cash.

Weekend Reading 11/14/14

The junk mail-killing app; from the same program that brought you Solyndra, a $5B win for taxpayers; and more.