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

Governor kicks off "soft" launch of Results Washington effort

September 10, 2013 in Blog

Today Governor Inslee put his stamp on the state's long track record with performance management efforts with a "soft" launch of Results Washington. As noted by his press release:

Gov. Jay Inslee today formally launched Results Washington, which will provide faster and easier answers to those questions and access to an unprecedented array of performance data related to his top goals.

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:

Some Fourth of July Environmental Reading

July 3, 2013 in Blog

Here's a grab bag of stories to read while eating your burger, brat and steak tomorrow. It's what the Founding Fathers would want.

Using the Free Market to Save the Rhino

Here's a great (and moving) piece from NPR's Planet Money on a proposal to encourage the breeding of rhinos in an effort to flood the market with rhino horn (which grows back) and undermine poaching by driving prices down. At the current rate, poaching will cause a decline in the rhino population in 2016.

Inslee Vetoes Environmental Effectiveness Studies

July 2, 2013 in Blog

The budget passed by both chambers of the legislature last week contained a few hopeful signs toward measuring the environmental effectiveness of government policies. When Governor Inslee signed the budget on Sunday, however, he vetoed three sections of the budget that would have helped assess and promote the effectiveness of the state's environmental policy.

Environmental Effectiveness in the Proposed Budget

June 28, 2013 in Blog

There are some promising signs that legislators are beginning to demand environmental effectiveness when funding projects designed to protect Washington's natural resources. In addition to the clause in the Governor's climate bill requiring projects to be prioritized based on carbon reductions per dollar spent, there is budget language requiring a similar approach in other environmental arenas.

Obama's Climate Policies Contrast with Inslee/ALEC Approach

June 25, 2013 in Blog

Today, President Obama outlined his new strategy on climate change, calling for more support for a range of politically chosen strategies. Prior to the speech, Governor Inslee released a statement saying the approach is "a smart, practical and cost effective set of policies."

The approach proposed by the President, however, stands in contrast to Inslee's own climate legislation and model legislation passed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).