Seattle to See Bigger Presence from Little Cars

Car2go Seattle increases fleet by 50%, covers entire city.

This morning, car2go—the free-floating car-sharing system featuring perky, pay-by-the-minute Smart cars across 60 cities worldwide—announced it would grow its Seattle fleet by a full 50%, increasing from 500 to 750, and that it would expand to cover the entirety of the city limits.

The expansion takes advantage of legislation passed by City Council in January to allow up to 3,000 car permits total: up to 750 for each of four companies, and 750 only if the company’s service area includes all  …  read more »

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The Dark Side of Cheap Gas

Inexpensive gas means more driving, more gas-guzzlers.
Runron, Morguefile.com

Runron, Morguefile.com

In case you hadn’t noticed, gas is a lot cheaper now than it was this time last year.  Starting last June, a glut in the international oil markets tipped oil prices into a sustained, seven-month decline. Falling oil price were quickly passed through to consumers, with fueling stations across the country regularly slashing gas prices to levels not seen since the depths of the Great Recession.

So now that gas is cheaper, are we driving more? The answer is both clear and unsurprising: yes, low gas prices have prodded Americans to drive more. Read more »

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Cloud Peak Projects Major Coal Export Losses

Coal company projects substantial losses on exports.

Cloud Peak Energy—the third largest coal producer in the Powder River Basin, and one of the main proponents of coal export projects in Washington and Oregon—recently released its earnings statement for the fourth quarter of 2014. And as I read through the details of their earnings statement, I discovered that a prediction I made last fall was wrong.

I had anticipated that Cloud Peak would start reporting losses from its export division starting in 2015. But I was three months too late: Cloud  …  read more »

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Weekend Reading 2/27/15

More zero-waste inspiration, the locavore's cocktail, and more.
Original illustration by Nina Montenegro of ghosttide.com.

Serena

After Meaghan’s weekend reading pick a couple of weeks ago, I went on another of my zero-waste reading and inspiration kicks—sort of an annual kick in the pants I need to keep on top of low-waste livin’. First stop: Bea Johnson (h/t L.S.), complete with recipes for everyday needs and a video introduction if you prefer.

Why are developers still building sprawl? Atlantic writer Alana Semuels takes a look at why we’re diving right back into the development patterns that contributed to the recession, the builders still trying to tell us we want ever more space, and the yet-to-be-determined influence of Millennial and new urbanist tastes on the market.

Eric

My top recommendation is this account of what it’s like to testify on a bill in Olympia, which is something I have occasion to do a few times each year. The bill, in this case, one that would support emotional development in school children—a worthy topic—but the lessons the author draws from her experience with the legislature are much broader and refreshingly positive. Read more »

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10 Key Takeaways from BC’s Polluters-Pay Model

Advice from northern Cascadia.

Grays Harbor Ship Traffic: the Impact of Oil Plans

Oil terminals could mean five-fold increase in major vessel traffic.

Weekend Reading 2/20/15

50 reasons to love Northwest rivers, Grays Harbor oil plans, money in politics, and more.

What’s Your Climate Change Elevator Pitch?

Katharine Hayhoe, PhD, says: Start with values. Say what you care about.

Advice on Rain Barrel Watering Now As a Pamphlet!

An easy way to share the news on using roof runoff to irrigate veggies.

VIDEO: The Pacific Northwest Can End the Free Lunch for Carbon Polluters

Beyond carbon in 60 seconds (part 1).