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 »


Weekend Reading 12/19/14

"Why is camping a white thing?"; women's share of the sharing economy; and more.
Original illustration by Nina Montenegro of ghosttide.com.


Have you wondered why the cast, promos, and maybe even the audiences for the new hit movie “Wild” (based on the 2012 memoir by Cheryl Strayed) include so few non-white faces? African-American writer Brandon Harris did; his essay “Why is Camping a White Thing?” poses a quesion that lingers like the proverbial pebble in the boot. Could Forest Schools offer affordable early learning in settings intended to connect the next generation to nature? Already popular in the U.K. and  …  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 »


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).

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.