Environment

WPC's Center for the Environment brings balance to the environmental debate by promoting the idea that human progress and prosperity work in a free economy to protect the environment.

Environment Blog

EPA and Ecology Contradict Governor on Ocean Acidification

September 10, 2014 in Blog

It has become Exhibit A for the claim that climate change is "already here." Ocean acidification, with increased atmospheric CO2 being absorbed by the ocean and reducing the pH (i.e. acidifying) of the water, is frequently cited by the Governor and others, pushing their particular climate policy.

Just last month, The New York Times highlighted the Governor's message on acidification and oysters:

Greens: There is No War on Cars...They're Just Evil

August 27, 2014 in Blog

The Sightline Institute praised Seattle's transportation chief's recent comments rejecting the notion of a "war on cars." They tweeted their approval this morning.

Greens Question 95 Percent of Seattle City Light's Carbon-Free Electricity

August 21, 2014 in Blog

Emblazoned across the side of Seattle City Light vehicles is a logo, proclaiming it the "Nation's Greenest Utility." A cornerstone of that claim is that City Light is "carbon neutral."

Less known is that the City Light relies largely on carbon-free hydro and nuclear power, which account for about 94 percent of its energy, to make that claim. Ironically, these energy sources are not recognized as "renewable" by the state.

Is Environmental Impact Analysis Useful? State Doesn't Know, but Wants to Make it More Complex.

August 12, 2014 in Blog

Let's say you used a tool every day to solve a problem. Don't you think you'd wonder if that tool actually did the job?

For more than three decades, the state has required environmental impact analysis for a range of projects as part of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The purpose of the analysis is to understand potential environmental problems of projects and proposals.

A Glimpse of How Climate Orthodoxy Is Undermining Environmental Benefit

July 31, 2014 in Blog

If you want evidence that climate policy puts environmental orthodoxy ahead of environmental benefit, the Governor's preliminary climate proposal provides a clear example.

The 14-page PowerPoint released this week puts strict limits on investments in carbon-reducing projects known as “offsets.” Why? The environmental community appears to feel that forcing lifestyle change is more important than actually helping the environment. The symbolism of sacrifice trumps sound science and policy.

If Science is Created and Nobody Listens, Does It Make a Difference?

July 23, 2014 in Blog

Few things set off the government waste alarms like state agencies proposing to spend money on "branding."

Governor Inslee's Proposal on Toxics: Will We Be "Duped" Again?

July 15, 2014 in Blog

Here’s a simple question: does science say eating salt is too risky?

Is King County Wastewater's $113,000 PR Campaign Effective or Just More Symbolism?

July 15, 2014 in Blog

King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) has a problem. People are flushing things they shouldn't, costing King County taxpayers $120,000 a year to fish out (yuk) and transfer the trash to a landfill.

The Governor's "Trust Me" Approach to Clean Water

July 11, 2014 in Blog

This week Governor Inslee announced the much anticipated fish consumption rules and allowable cancer rate used to set clean water standards. By estimating how much fish people eat and the cancer risk from eating fish exposed to water pollution, the state determines how clean the water in the Puget Sound and elsewhere must be.

The rule itself won’t be available until the end of September, so it is impossible to make a specific critique, but there are a number of considerations after listening to his press conference. Here they are, in no particular order.

State Prepares to Adopt Water Quality Standards So High They Can’t Be Met

July 7, 2014 in Blog

Today Fox News aired a story discussing the dramatically increased fish consumption rate that will soon be adopted by the Washington state Department of Ecology (DOE).  The story included comments from the Washington Policy Center, which began researching and commenting on the fish consumption issue in 2012.