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

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.

Is Governor Inslee Right About the Impact of Coal Exports on Puget Sound?

June 27, 2014 in Blog

Would you consider a change of 0.083 percent "unparalleled" and "significant"? Apparently, Governor Jay Inslee does.

Two weeks ago, Governor Inslee visited the Vancouver Columbian editorial board and defended his proposal to require an unprecedented level of analysis regarding proposed export terminals. His process, known as "expanded SEPA," has never been done before and would attempt to analyze the environmental impact not only of the terminal but of all the products being exported.

Is Climate Change Killing Honeybees?

June 23, 2014 in Blog

Last week, for National Pollinator Week, the President released a fact sheet announcing new efforts to save honeybees.

As a beekeeper, I can certainly attest to the value of bees for a whole range of reasons. I was speaking last week in Bellingham and one farmer/beekeeper in the audience noted that bees increase yields at his orchard by 40-50 percent. Others, like me, like the honey and simply enjoy keeping bees.

Climate Policy Won't Avert a Forest Fire "Apocalypse." Active Forestry Will.

June 9, 2014 in Blog

Last week, as part of his push for his climate policy in Washington state, Governor Inslee warned of the upcoming fire season, citing what he called "the three horses of the fire Apocalypse" - drought, heat and beetles.

As the Spokesman-Review noted, the Governor claimed "The number of wildfires in Washington could quadruple by 2030 if steps aren’t taken to reduce carbon pollution and slow climate change."

Real World Costs Show Effective, Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Costs $1.01 Per Gallon

May 30, 2014 in Blog

There has been a great deal of debate about the potential cost of Governor Inslee's proposed low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS). In an effort to reduce carbon emissions, the Governor wants to require gasoline sold in Washington to be mixed with a certain percentage of biofuel, although he has not yet provided details.  

Wall Street Journal Experts: The Market—Not Policy—Will Dictate Coal’s Future

May 27, 2014 in Blog

The Market—Not Policy—Will Dictate Coal’s Future

12:02 pm ET
May 23, 2014

TODD MYERS: Whatever the EPA does about coal, there are several realities that will continue to dictate the future of coal in our energy mix.

Wall Street Journal Experts: To Save Water, Stop Subsidizing It

May 27, 2014 in Blog

To Save Water, Stop Subsidizing It

9:15 am ET
May 23, 2014

TODD MYERS: As a child growing up in California, my dad sat me down and gave me insight on drought that rings true to this day. He said, “Son, California is the land of surf and sun. We don’t flush for number 1.” Those words still echo in my ears.

Wall Street Journal Experts: What’s Next for Alternative Fuel Vehicles

May 27, 2014 in Blog

What’s Next for Alternative Fuel Vehicles

3:42 pm ET
May 22, 2014

TODD MYERS: Looking ahead 10 years, will electric, natural gas or hydrogen vehicles have made significant inroads in the car market?

Each of these technologies is on a different path.