How State Public Money Pays for Coal Exports and Oil Trains

Tracking public fund investments in fossil fuel projects.

Communities across Oregon and Washington are growing increasingly agitated about the risks of fossil fuel export. Proposed coal terminals generated unprecedented opposition from local residents and, more recently, dramatic increases in oil train traffic have many questioning the grave safety risks associated with a cargo so prone to explode. Yet at the very same time, the state governments of both Oregon and Washington are bankrolling coal, oil, and gas infrastructure.

In some cases, the subsidies and expenditures are known  …  read more »


Have You Signed?

Countering Big Money in citizens’ initiative signature drives by targeting fraud.

You know the drill. To get into the Safeway, you’re going to have to walk past the man with the clipboards. “Are you a registered voter?” he is asking you already, when you’re still 10 feet away. “Have you signed for…?” Whatever the pitch, it’s hard to decline, because he looked you in the eye and asked politely. It’s a small request. He’ll be here on the way out, too.

Who are these people? They’re paid signature gatherers. They travel  …  read more »

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Weekend Reading 9/12/14

#WhyIStayed; This is your region on coal exports; The marriage bonus; and more.
Original illustration by Nina Montenegro of


My inbox is always too full. Some of it is my fault (yes, I do want to hear more about kid-friendly restaurants in Portland, thank you Red Tricycle), and some of it is other people’s fault (Kristin Gilbert in Cincinnatti, please remind yourself of YOUR email address and stop signing MY address up for emails from wedding caterers and photographers). So I am delighted to have found a way to magically make the unwanted emails stop:  …  read more »

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Disputing a Study on Coal Exports and Climate

A poorly designed study assumes that breaking the law is "business as usual."

I’ve never seen anything like this: an academic study that assumes that a privately held power company will continuously violate state and federal environmental laws.

That’s just one of several surprising flaws in a recent paper by researchers from Duke University and the University of Calgary. The study purports to show that, under certain assumptions, exporting coal to Korea will reduce the amount of CO2 emitted per megawatt-hour of power produced globally. Yet the study is based on premises so absurd that they render  …  read more »


Climate Change in Plain Language

Your new go-to one-pager on talking climate like a pro.

Canada vs. the USA on Oil Train Standards

Who is number one?

Five Keystone XLs: The Carbon in Northwest Fossil Fuel Export Plans

A new Sightline report tallies the emissions in coal, oil, and gas projects.

“If We Cannot Escape, Neither Will the Coal”

Northwest Tribes and First Nations block fossil fuel exports.

Weekend Reading 9/5/14

Share wars, the Great Kale Shortage, and more.

Full Disclosure

What we can do about money in initiative campaigns.