Legislature Passes A Good First Step on Carbon Emissions

March 25, 2013 in Blog

A bipartisan majority passed the Governor's climate legislation today in the State House, sending it to Jay Inslee's desk for his signature. The bill enjoyed bipartisan support in the Senate as well.

The reason so many legislators crossed the aisle to support it, is that it included a measurement of environmental effectiveness. Previous climate legislation simply adopted the latest politically trendy option without an up-front assessment of potential effectiveness.

Washington's Solar Subsidies Fail The Governor's Moral Standard on Climate Change

March 18, 2013 in Blog

The Seattle Times reports today on Gov. Jay Inslee's commitment to reducing carbon emissions in Washington state. The governor notes that the carbon-reduction effort is a "moral" imperative and that failure to effectively reduce carbon emissions would be abdication of our responsibility to our grandchildren.

The Anti-Science Ugliness of the "Information is Beautiful" Climate Change Graphic

March 12, 2013 in Blog

A web site called "Information is Beautiful" has an infographic it claims demonstrates the damage being done by carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. The graphic, however, shows how disingenuous the environmental left can be when it comes to climate science. Rather than using the "consensus" science, the graphic goes out of its way to cherry pick data from a range of sources. Ironically, some of the sources used contradict other sources.

The Strange World of Coal Train Politics

March 7, 2013 in Blog

The issue that has dominated environmental discussions in Washington state during the past year is the proposal to create a new shipping terminal in Whatcom County to ship coal and other goods to the Pacific Rim. The emotional debate has led to a number of strange arguments and ironies. Here are a few that stick out.

Groups With a Strong Financial Interest Attacking Others for Having a Financial Interest

Sequester Complaints Focus on Small Cuts But Ignore Millions in Wasted Environmental Funding

February 25, 2013 in Blog

There has been a great deal of talk about the severe impacts of the federal budget cuts associated with the so-called "sequester." The Obama Administration claims if the sequester takes effect it risks "$3.3 million to help ensure clean water and air, and to prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste." Cuts could include projects such as:

The Taylor Swifting of Seattle Climate Policy

February 22, 2013 in Blog

The City of Seattle's Office of Sustainability and Environment has released what has to be the most embarassing government video ever produced. Considering the Department of Ecology and Puget Sound Partnership's dog poop rap video is also out there, this is saying something.

The video, titled "We're So Green," has a message about as complex as a Taylor Swift song. With lines like "We are Seattle and we're leading the change," to call the video self-absorbed doesn't seem to go far enough.

Governor Inslee's Climate Legislation: Some Promising Signs

February 15, 2013 in Blog

Yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee released one element of his climate strategy, creating a "climate and legislative work group." The legislation calls for an analysis of a range of strategies to reduce carbon emissions. That analysis would be used by legislators to develop a final strategy.

Flame Retardant Ban Advocates Admit New Ban Repeats Errors of Last Ban

February 8, 2013 in Blog

Last week the House Environment Committee in Olympia considered HB 1294 which would ban a certain type of flame-retardant compound and create a process for identifying alternatives. Supporters of the legislation argue this will get us off the "toxic treadmill" of moving from one risky compound to the next.

Three Questions for Advocates of the Latest Ban on Flame-Retardants

February 5, 2013 in Blog

Tomorrow, the House Environment Committee will consider HB 1294, the latest ban on flame-retardant compounds. The bill would ban a compound called Tris and would give the Department of Ecology the authority to ban future flame-retardants "unless a manufacturer demonstrates that there is not a technically feasible safer alternative to the flame retardant."

State Finds Choosing "Precaution" Over Science on Vaccines Creates Significant Health Risks

February 1, 2013 in Blog

The Department of Health explains that Washington state law limits the amount of thimerosal "as a precaution." In other words, the state is ignoring the science in favor of an amorphous standard of "precaution." What is the result of that precaution? Selecky’s agency goes on to explain:

New Environmental Documentary Tells Other Side of "Fracking" Story

January 22, 2013 in Blog

We don't have much natural gas in Washington state, but the impacts of the boom in natural gas production are certainly being felt here with lower prices. The low cost has also caused natural gas to replace coal in many parts of the country, causing a steep decline in nationwide carbon emissions.

Governor Inslee and Climate Policy: Measuring Success and Failure

January 16, 2013 in Blog

In his inaugural address today, Governor Inslee highlighted the need to reduce the risk of climate change from carbon emissions. He specifically emphasized the need to "replace rhetoric with quantifiable results." This is critical. Washington politicians have been heavy on rhetoric the past several years and the results have been poor.

Longtime Opponent of Biotech Crops Says Movement is "Anti-Science"

January 4, 2013 in Blog

As activists opposing biotechnology crops and genetically modified foods, known as GMOs, were turning in signatures for their new labeling initiative, another anti-GMO activist was giving a speech about his past activism. The speech, however, doesn't begin as you might predict:

Washington's Climate Strategies Waste 95 Out of Every 100 Dollars

January 2, 2013 in Blog

As the governor and legislature debate various environmental proposals for 2013, here is one fact they should keep in mind: many of the State of Washington's climate policies waste about 99 percent of the money spent to cut carbon emissions. Even those policies that perform better than that standard are only slightly better, missing huge opportunities to reduce carbon emissions.

Washington State Brags about Its Failed 'Green' Building Standards that Other States Are Abandoning

December 28, 2012 in Blog

Pointing to a recent television news story, the House Democrats yesterday touted the Washington state law requiring that school buildings meet "green" building standards, claiming "taxpayers pay less for electricity every month." There are several problems with this claim, however, and stubborn support for this failed law despite the evidence has resulted in less money for schools, an actual increase in energy use and more environmental damage.