Why the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act Is a Big, Awesome Deal

This is Washington State’s moment: Make polluters pay and fund education, transportation, and equity.
Original Sightline Institute graphic, available under our free use policy.

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

In Washington and across the Northwest, we are already seeing devastating impacts of climate change. In Hood Canal and Puget Sound, shellfish are being destroyed by an acidifying ocean, declining snowpack threatens water supply both sides of the Cascades, and record-setting wildfires have ravaged Eastern Washington communities.

The good news is that we can do something about it. We at Sightline are always saying that a well-designed program can hold polluters accountable while transitioning the Pacific Northwest to a clean  …  read more »

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What Do Oil Train Explosions Cost?

And why cities and towns would have to pay the damages.

Given the nasty tendency for oil trains to explode when they derail, it’s probably worth asking what a catastrophic accident might cost. No doubt, the thousands of communities visited daily by oil trains would like to know what sort of financial risks they are exposed to. Unfortunately for these governments, the available data suggest that a reasonable worst-case-scenario explosion could do several billion dollars of damage—sums far in excess of railroad insurance coverage.

But how many billions are we talking about? Read more »

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5 Tips for Portland and Vancouver BC on Uber

Lessons from Seattle's efforts to regulate new ride service companies.

Portland and Vancouver BC officials, welcome to Seattle’s pain. With Uber launching (or threatening to launch) its app-based personal transportation service in your city, you have a real puzzle to solve.

You only have to balance all these goals: Protecting consumers, supporting green alternatives to car ownership, enforcing sensible rules, jettisoning outdated ones, not rewarding bad behavior, confronting limitations of a strangled taxi system you created, navigating tough equity questions, and taking on a company now valued at $40  …  read more »

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A Carbon Pollution Policy with All the Fixin’s

Getting creative with carbon pricing (Part 4).
Original Sightline Institute graphic, available under our free use policy.

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

A purely regulatory approach to cutting carbon is like Thanksgiving dinner without the turkey. But just charging polluters without any other policies is like eating turkey by itself with no cranberry sauce or stuffing to make it delicious, no mashed potatoes, green beans and yams to round out the meal, and no pie to sweeten the experience. In Oregon and Washington, we want the full dinner. Here’s how serving up a carbon price carefully paired with other policies makes for  …  read more »

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What is Xylene, and What Does it Mean for Puget Sound?

A chemical you've never heard of is bound for Washington's waters.

Weekend Reading 12/12/14

Photos from Lima, poetry in motion, and more.

The Ongoing Coal Export Collapse at BC’s Ridley Terminal

Weak coal shipments suggest that the coal terminal's capacity expansion was a waste.

How (Not) To Talk About Politicians

Powerful reframes, giving frustration positive direciton, and using more produtive job descriptions.

How Portland’s Neighborhood Greenways Evolved

And what other cities can learn from the Rose City's low-traffic, family-friendly streets.

Event: Carbon Pricing Options for Oregon

Join us to learn what carbon pricing would mean for Oregon.