Will Lands Commissioner Goldmark Stand Up for His GMO Crops?

November 10, 2013 in Blog

Now that the GMO labeling debate has subsidized (it will assuredly return), it is time for many who support biotechnology, but were unwilling to say so during the campaign, to stand up for that technology. One person who was noticeably absent from the recent debate about biotechnology crops was Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark.

When he ran for office in 2008, Goldmark, a PhD molecular biologist, spoke frequently of his creation of a GMO strain of wheat. In his voters' pamphlet statement in both 2008 and 2012 he listed himself as a "wheat breeder/scientist."

Inslee Proposal to Combine Cap-and-Trade and Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Is Costly and Ineffective

November 6, 2013 in Blog

When Governor Inslee signed the regional climate agreement last week, it included two policies he had already advocated publicly as part of the Climate Legislative Executive Workgroup (CLEW) process. It called for a cap-and-trade system and a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) which would require fuel to have less carbon per gallon than standard gasoline (among other things). Including both of these policies, however, makes it more expensive to reduce carbon emissions while doing nothing to increase those reductions.

Inslee Climate Agreement: Ineffective, Undermines the Bipartisan Approach and Promises Are Not "Legally Binding"

October 28, 2013 in Blog

As expected, Governor Inslee today signed the "Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy" along with other West Coast leaders and it includes promises that contradict the spirit of Governor Inslee's own legislation and the analysis provided as part of that process.

The section on a "low-carbon fuel standard" is the best example of how this agreement is at odds with the approach laid out in the Governor's climate bill, 5802. It reads:

Will Governor’s Climate Shortcut Destroy Opportunity for Bipartisan Agreement?

October 28, 2013 in Blog

This morning, Governor Inslee will be signing a climate agreement with other west coast governors and the BC Premier. According to the Governor’s office and press reports, the agreement will cover:

Effective Climate Policy for Washington, Step Two: Attempting to Cut Emissions with Renewable Electricity is Costly and Ineffective

October 23, 2013 in Blog

For the first time, Washington state is attempting to base its official climate policy on approaches that provide the greatest environmental benefit for every taxpayer dollar spent. Past efforts have done nothing to measure the actual climate impact or to prioritize the way tax money is used. As a result, Washington politicians have wasted huge amounts of money while yielding little or no benefit for the environment.

Effective Climate Policy for Washington, Step One: Count Emissions Correctly

October 21, 2013 in Blog

As part of Governor Inslee’s climate workgroup, known as CLEW, for Climate Legislative Executive Workgroup, state officials are taking public comment about the future of climate policy in Washington. The state hired a consulting firm, SAIC, to issue a report on various strategies to reduce Washington state’s carbon emissions.

This week, we will analyze that report and look at how we can get the greatest environmental benefit for every taxpayer dollar.

One of the Greatest Government E-mails I've Ever Received

October 20, 2013 in Blog

Updated below with reply from Department of Ecology

Last week, the State Department of Ecology announced a sole-source contract for $50,000 to study purchases of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). The announcement says the survey will...

describe new-car buyers’ valuation of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) and ZEV-enabling technologies, describe why people hold these intentions, and characterize the antecedents to these intentions, e.g., awareness, knowledge, motivations, and barriers toward purchasing ZEVs.

GMOs, Eco-Terrorists and the University of Washington

October 15, 2013 in Blog

This Thursday, a group called Responsible Choices Washington will host a debate about labeling of biotechnology crops, known popularly as GMOs, at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture. The choice of the venue is ironic.

Twelve years ago, eco-terrorists firebombed the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture. The reason, as evidenced by the spray paint left behind, was opposition to the research being done on the genetics of plants.

Will Washington State's Greens Ever Embrace Environmental Effectiveness?

October 14, 2013 in Blog

Step one of any twelve-step program is "admit you have a problem." Left-wing environmental groups like FUSE still aren't there. As a result, Washington state has wasted millions on failed climate policies and some seem determined to keep doing that.

Solar Panels Create Less Heat Than Solar Energy Activists

September 26, 2013 in Blog

This week, the Wall Street Journal is publishing four pieces I wrote addressing various aspects of energy and environment policy. You can read them all at the WSJ Experts page. There are some nice pieces by others as well, so it is worth a look at all of the articles.

Five Environmental Questions the Scott Walker Protestors Won't Answer

September 5, 2013 in Blog

Tonight, union and environmental activists are threatening to protest Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's speech at our annual dinner. Such protests, of course, are long on rhythmic chanting and short on thoughtful argument.

It is notable, however, that the announcement of the protest encourages "environmental activists" to protest the Governor's "environment-damaging policies." So, here are five questions for environmental activists who decide to show up tonight.

Yakima School District Passes Climate Change Seriousness Test

August 28, 2013 in Blog

Yesterday, a Yakima TV station reported that a small group was pushing the Yakima School District to put solar panels on the new Eisenhower High School. KNDO reported on the picketers:

Washington State's Failed "Energy Freedom" Loans Are 0-for-3, Risking $4.4 Million in Taxpayer Funds

August 26, 2013 in Blog

Today, the Washington State Department of Commerce released its assessment of the Energy Freedom Program, created in 2006 to "promote public research and development in bioenergy." As part of the program the state loaned just over $10 million to four companies, in partnership with public entities, to generate biofuels and renewable energy. One company just began operations in July, but the other three have been operating for a few years now and are a useful guide to the failure of political efforts to create a "green" economy.

Environment Washington Fails the Climate Change Seriousness Test

July 15, 2013 in Blog

Are you serious about climate change? Do you think it is a policy worth addressing? How can we tell who is really serious from the everyday poseur who is simply engaging in public preening? Here is a simple test.

What do they think about solar panels?

Today, Diana Lloyd-Jones of Environment Washington pens an ode to solar panels, calling them the "wave of the future," and saying that if enough people supported solar panels "we could start a movement."

Dept. of Energy's Claim About Climate and Hydro Doesn't Hold Water

July 11, 2013 in Blog

The U.S. Department of Energy yesterday released a report on "Impacts to the Energy Sector from Climatic Conditions." It notes "climate change is happening -- and the effects are already being felt across the country." The report examines how "decreasing water availability" and other impacts are harming energy production.

This claim caught my attention: