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

Cap-and-Trade in Washington state. Phase 2: the big buyoff

May 13, 2015 in Blog

Having failed to garner enough support from House Democrats, the Governor’s cap-and-trade bill now enters what has become a traditional phase for cap-and-trade legislation: the Big Buyoff. A new version of the cap-and-trade proposal was released this week, this time with hundreds of millions of dollars intended for selected industries to earn the votes of particular representatives.

This is a familiar pattern for cap-and-trade. The examples are plentiful.

The Phony Math and Ironic Economics to Justify Electric Car Tax Breaks

April 30, 2015 in Blog

Math errors. Exaggerations. Phony metrics. Trickle-down economics. The recent e-mail from JJ McCoy of the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association to the legislature has it all.

Electric car advocates in Washington state are again asking for a sales tax break on top of the existing federal tax credit they receive of $7,500. Their sales tax break costs the state about $10 million a year. To put that in context, that is about one-quarter of the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board’s annual funding.

How Free-Market Environmental Solutions Are Helping Nicaragua's Sea Turtles

April 23, 2015 in Blog

Today's guest post is from Wendy Purnell. Currently, she is the Director of Outreach at PERC, the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Montana. For six years, she worked with Paso Pacífico, learning everything she knows about sea turtles from their dedicated rangers.

Earth Day highlights dreadful record of environmental predictions and policies

April 21, 2015 in Blog

Tomorrow is Earth Day, and activists, politicians and the media will push for policies they say will reduce our environmental impact. Often, it is simply assumed these policies will work and the only question is whether we have the "will" to adopt them.

Actually, the environmental left has a terrible record when it comes to environmental predictions and effectiveness. Repeatedly, their policies fail or even increase environmental damage to our planet.  Their policy announcements are applauded, but their policy failures are rarely highlighted.

The Folly of Connecting Air Quality to Climate Policy

April 15, 2015 in Blog

Today's guest blog is from Dr. Kay Jones. Dr. Jones is a retired U.S. Public Health Service officer.  He served as the senior advisor for air quality at the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) under the Ford and Carter administrations. He was responsible for initiating the national program to investigate the effects of acid rain.

Washington's Cap-and-Trade is Dead

March 27, 2015 in Blog

House Democrats released their budget today and the revenue from the Governor's proposed cap-and-trade carbon policy is not included. Bills necessary to implement the budget are never truly dead, but the exclusion of cap-and-trade from the House budget means the Governor's carbon policy is fundamentally dead.

Thurston County Data Shows Plastic Bag Bans Increased Water and Air Pollution

March 24, 2015 in Blog

Now that Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater and unincorporated areas of Thurston County have implemented a ban on plastic grocery bags, Thurston County Solid Waste completed a study of what kind of grocery bag residents now use. The results show the ban has likely increased emissions of greenhouse gases and increased water pollution that contributes to "dead zones" in the ocean.

Is a One Percent Reduction in Air Pollution Next Decade Worth Blocking Transportation Package?

March 10, 2015 in Blog

"What does that mean for real people? For a start, it imperils the health of Washington state residents." That is the way Sen. Pramila Jayapal described clauses in the Senate transportation package requiring legislative approval for a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS).

WSU economic study shows Cap-and-Trade costs for gasoline will be borne entirely by consumers

February 25, 2015 in Blog

One of the ongoing debates about Governor Inslee's cap-and-trade proposal is who will end up paying the billions of dollars a year in new costs associated with the proposed system.

The myth of Cap-and-Trade "success" in the N.E. United States (RGGI)

February 11, 2015 in Blog

One of the most common arguments made by supporters of Governor Inslee's cap-and-trade legislation is that a similar system in the NE United States is working well and has not harmed the economy. Advocates claim Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiation, known as RGGI, has cut carbon emissions and the economy wasn't harmed.