Four Charts Show Carbon Pollution Accountability Act is Still Awesome

Sightline Daily

As the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act , now HB 1314 , wends its way through committee hearings, new economic analysis and revised revenue estimates are popping up. It’s still the same pollution-cutting, clean-energy-spurring bill you know and love, but the new numbers show it will send even more money to Washington public schools, and it will also grow jobs. Less pollution, more clean energy, better schools, and more jobs.

Governors Applaud New EPA Carbon Pollution Safeguards

Sierra Club Compass

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (Photo: Office of Governor Patrick)   From New Hampshire to California to Hawai’i to Montana, Governors across the country are applauding the Environmental Protection Agency’s first-ever standards to clean up climate disruption carbon pollution. Carbon emissions are linked to respiratory illnesses like childhood asthma, and climate disruption fuels extreme weather events such as super-storms, floods, wildfires, and extreme drought.

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A Carbon Pollution Policy with All the Fixin’s

Sightline Daily

A purely regulatory approach to cutting carbon is like Thanksgiving dinner without the turkey. But just charging polluters without any other policies is like eating turkey by itself with no cranberry sauce or stuffing to make it delicious, no mashed potatoes, green beans and yams to round out the meal, and no pie to sweeten the experience. In Oregon and Washington, we want the full dinner. The vertical axis shows the cost of cutting carbon pollution in dollars per ton.

VIDEO: The Pacific Northwest Can End the Free Lunch for Carbon Polluters

Sightline Daily

Have you ever tried to briefly explain to someone why we need to hold carbon polluters accountable? This is the first in a series of short videos about how the Pacific Northwest can use a carbon price to protect our communities and accelerate our transition to clean energy. Key takeaways: The biggest polluters are getting a free lunch. Oil and coal companies profit while they pollute our atmosphere for free. Climate & Energy Carbon pricing Climage Change

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Everything Oregon Legislators Need To Know About Stopping Climate Pollution

Sightline Daily

You have seven minutes to tell Oregon legislators everything they need to know about stopping climate pollution. That was my task last week when testifying at an Oregon Senate informational hearing about two bills that would stop the free lunch for climate polluters in Oregon—see the video of my testimony below. I used my time to make the following points: Oregon is not alone. Making polluters pay will not hurt the economy. Quick!

2015 84

Why the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act Is a Big, Awesome Deal

Sightline Daily

We at Sightline are always saying that a well-designed program can hold polluters accountable while transitioning the Pacific Northwest to a clean and prosperous future. Yesterday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee unveiled a package of climate policies, including the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act. First, there are several aspects of Washington’s proposal that would make it truly first in class: 100 percent auctions —no free giveaways to polluters.

The New Oregon Carbon Tax Report is Out

Sightline Daily

Last year, Portland State University (PSU) gave the Oregon legislature a teaser about how to face those problems with a carbon tax. Intrigued by the possibility of holding big polluters accountable and generating revenue for Oregonians, the legislature asked for more information, and this week PSU’s Northwest Economic Research Center (NERC) delivered. NERC modeled carbon taxes ranging from $10 to $150 per ton of greenhouse gas pollution.

Event: Carbon Pricing Options for Oregon

Sightline Daily

Pilsen and Pollution by Senor Codo used under CC BY-SA 2.0 Used with Creative Commons) Carbon Tax vs. Cap and Trade? Can Oregon make polluters pay and grow jobs? This Monday, join our senior researcher Kristin Eberhard to talk about carbon pricing options for Oregon. A wonderful panel of speakers will lay out smart climate policy solutions towards reducing Oregon’s carbon pollution.

Clean Air Coming Soon!

Sierra Club Compass

Carbon pollution standards for new power plants published for public comment. Today, the Environmental Protection Agency has taken another step forward in protecting American families and environmental health by publishing its proposed standards to limit toxic carbon pollution from new power plants in The Federal Register, the government's official newspaper, starting off a 60-day period for public comment.

How the Oil Industry Will Try to Kill Carbon Pricing

Sightline Daily

As Oregon and Washington contemplate a carbon tax or carbon cap , the oil industry is revving the engines for an astro-turf scare campaign here. As Oregon and Washington start thinking about holding them accountable, the oil lobby is turning its scare machine our way. Now that California has been holding polluters accountable for a few weeks, what has the price impact been? The cost of cutting pollution gets lost in the noise.

2015 87

How much do we spend on fossil fuels?

Sightline Daily

Here’s where your money actually goes: If you live in Oregon, you spend around $1,300 per year on K-12 education and around $2,800 per year on fossil fuels. Despite these benefits, both Oregon and Washington spend less than the national average per K-12 student. Two-thirds to three-quarters of the price of fossil fuels pays for the raw resources—crude oil, coal, and natural gas—but neither Oregon nor Washington produce any fossil fuels, so all that money goes elsewhere.

All the World’s Carbon Pricing Systems in One Animated Map

Sightline Daily

Oregon and Washington leaders are contemplating turbocharging their clean energy transition by instituting carbon pricing here in the Pacific Northwest. Will a cap or tax on carbon work? Since you ask: Scandinavian countries have been pricing carbon for more than two decades. The European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) has been pricing carbon for almost a decade. Most cap programs aim to return to their own 1990 levels of pollution within 10-15 years.

2014 88

What Is the Jordan Cove Export Project?

Sightline Daily

An oversized carbon-fuel project may be coming to a small town on the Oregon Coast. A Canadian energy company wants to build a liquid natural gas export terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon, to ship tremendous volumes of natural gas overseas. Location: The export facility would sit on the shores of Coos Bay on the southern Oregon coast. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has authority to enforce compliance with the Clean Water Act.

2015 85

Myths and Facts about Capping Climate Change Pollution

Sightline Daily

Author’s note: Some folks in the Oregon legislature have been fretting about falsehoods lately. Climate models predict that, without urgent action, the Oregon drought could morph into something like the California mega-drought. Don’t let false rumors—often circulated by entrenched fossil fuel interests tying to protect their profits—trip Oregon up on the path to clean energy. Myth : “Making polluters pay will wreck the economy.”

2015 84

Great Climate News from the Pacific Coast

Sierra Club Compass

Among the announcement of the 150th coal plant closing in the United States, the IPCC’s r eport about the human cause of climate disruption, and the EPA’s first-ever protections against carbon pollution from new power plants comes another environmental victory. Currently, California and British Columbia already put a price on greenhouse gas emissions, and through this pact Washington and Oregon will follow suit.  Climate history has been made again.

What If Polluters Paid and You Got the Money?

Sightline Daily

What if we could click our ruby slippers and transport ourselves to a magical place where polluters pay and we all get checks in the mail? The Oregon legislature is considering two bills that would take us there. When designing a program to make climate polluters pay, one of the most important decisions is what to do with the money. Two Oregon bills contemplate mailing out dividend checks. What are these Oregon dividend bills and what do they do?

2015 87

Indiana Jones and the Clean Power Rule

Sightline Daily

The proposed US Clean Power Rule puts Oregon and Washington, along with other Western states, on a ledge, too. Oregon and Washington are on a quest to meet their own self-imposed climate targets, but the federal rule seems to lead them astray, requiring different goals and tangential negotiations that will sap their energy and make it harder for them to reach their goal. Both states aim to squeeze out much more pollution by 2050. How much carbon, exactly, EPA?

Four Carbon Cap-Tax Hybrids

Sightline Daily

A tax and a cap are just different vehicles for delivering the same thing: a carbon price that holds polluters responsible for their pollution, drives the transition to clean energy, and staves off the worst risks of climate volatility. With a tax, you know the price in advance but not the quantity of carbon pollution per year; with a cap, you know the carbon but not the price. Use a self-adjusting tax to get the pollution cutting certainty of a cap.

All You Need to Know About BC’s Carbon Tax Shift in Five Charts

Sightline Daily

When British Columbia enacted a carbon tax shift in 2008, many thought other jurisdictions would follow soon with their own ways of cashing in their carbon. Seven states and four provinces were working out the details of a huge carbon cap-and-trade market called the Western Climate Initiative. Candidates Barack Obama and John McCain were campaigning for president with promises of clean energy on the double quick; Senator Obama even pitched carbon pricing in his stump speech.

2014 87

Five Things Northwest States Should Know About the Federal Clean Power Plan

Sightline Daily

Last fall I described how President Obama’s draft federal Clean Power Plan (CPP) gave Oregon and Washington a chance to leap into a clean energy future. The CPP is a carbon-pricing powerhouse: it gives Oregon and Washington’s governors authority, even without legislative action, to price carbon pollution and to join other states in a regional or national price on electric power sector pollution. States could also use a carbon tax to comply.

2015 83

2013: A Landmark Year For Clean Energy; Twilight for Coal

Sierra Club Compass

"Coal use is down in almost every region of the country, and carbon pollution is at its lowest level in almost two decades. "   A growing movement With an overarching goal to move America off coal and slash carbon pollution no later than 2030, an unprecedented coalition including Sierra Club and more than a hundred local, regional and national organizations has helped to secure a record number of coal plant retirements.

2013 87

Electric Vehicles Kick into High Gear

Sierra Club Compass

The eight states are California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Passenger cars and trucks are responsible for nearly half of our nation's oil consumption and one-fifth of our carbon pollution. Today a group of eight governors announced a landmark initiative to put 3.3 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025.

2013 82

The Thin Green Line Grows Stronger

Sightline Daily

The Northwest is home to the carbon pollution equivalent of fully five Keystone XL Pipelines’ worth of dirty energy export proposals. In Oregon, the state Transportation Commission slapped down a stealthy $2 million planned coal port subsidy. Coal is off Oregon’s plate.” A parallel scheme in Portland, Oregon will go before the city council this summer with opponents vowing to make the politics blistering.

2015 85

Latino Voters Oppose Coal Exports

Sightline Daily

As Latino Decisions senior analyst, Adrian Pantoja, points out, the findings affirm strong green attitudes about climate change and pollution among Latino voters revealed in national polling in the past few years, including a 2013 survey in which Latino Decisions found that 84 percent of Latinos favor the EPA setting more strict air pollution safeguards and 86 percent would support the President using his executive authority to set promote rules that limit carbon pollution.

2014 83

Why Price Carbon—Can’t We Just Regulate It?

Sightline Daily

Most Americans—including most Republicans —want to regulate carbon pollution. Oregon and Washington have already set legally binding limits on the climate-changing gas. But what if Oregon and Washington’s lawmakers fail to insert sharp incisors in their beyond-carbon rules? Desperate for revenue to fulfill its McCleary obligations, Washington might pass a modest carbon tax not designed to slash pollution. Polluters should knock it off.

March Calls for Expansion of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Sierra Club Compass

A year ago, Moapa Paiutes walked 50 miles over three days from their reservation to Las Vegas to protest the Reid Gardner coal plant''s pollution and bring attention to the tribe’s efforts to develop solar energy. We don''t want the coal plant to be replaced by another polluting power plant - like a gas plant. Washington State enacted a law that will close its last coal plant by 2025, and Oregon will be coal-free by 2020.

Carbon Pricing and Northwest Businesses

Sightline Daily

Many business owners and workers worry that carbon pricing will hurt local economies. They need to know: How would carbon pricing affect businesses and job creation in Washington and Oregon? In particular, how would it affect energy-intensive businesses that compete in national and international markets with companies not yet covered by carbon pricing? Will pricing carbon in the Northwest just send production and carbon pollution elsewhere?

2014 76

The "Electrifying Movement" that Continues to Fight Coal Exports

Sierra Club Compass

If these terminals are approved, they will unleash one of the biggest carbon sources on the planet, by creating a new pathway for Western U.S. It''s an electrifying movement that has stopped three of the six proposed terminals to date - the climate pollution equivalent of stopping 35 new coal-fired power plants. When we stop all six projects, that will equal the carbon impact of stopping 105 new coal plants.

Four Carbon Pricing Pitfalls to Avoid

Sightline Daily

Despite its widely discussed woes, every year the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) cuts more carbon pollution than the entire state of Oregon spits out. The EU cap-and-trade program limits carbon dioxide emissions from more than 11,000 power stations and industrial plants in 28 participating countries , covering 45 percent of the EU’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Nonetheless, the early years were rocky for Europe’s carbon-pricing pioneer.

2014 78

The Oil Industry’s California Playbook

Sightline Daily

After millions of dollars of furious Big Oil lobbying , legislators dropped the petroleum requirement from the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act (SB 350). Under his leadership, California has been a model for the rest of the world on climate legislation and has even led other subnational provinces and states to join its carbon trading market. ” Here in the Northwest, Oregon and Washington are both looking to put a price on carbon pollution.

2015 83

Party Time! Excellent!

Sightline Daily

For the Cascadia region, rates of teen pregnancy in Washington and Oregon are getting closer to those of our neighbors in the Great White North. The Oregon rate at the time was 47 and Washington’s rate was 42, compared to a national average of 57.4. Oh what fun by all.consuming used under CC BY-ND 2.0. Public health officials, educators, and parents of teens have reason to party!

2014 66

17 Things to Know About California’s Carbon Cap

Sightline Daily

While Cascadian climate hawks have been fighting rearguard actions against proposed pipelines and coal trains, California has been rolling out an ambitious carbon cap. Such a cap is the principal alternative to a carbon tax—such as British Columbia’s carbon tax shift —as a method for putting a price on carbon in Oregon and Washington. It’s an option Oregon will consider next year in its impending revenue-reform debate.

2014 86

The Washington Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce Report is Out

Sightline Daily

Twenty-one Washingtonian leaders from business, labor, public interests, public health, and federal, tribal, and local government communities walk into a room to discuss the best way to price carbon in the Evergreen state. In April, Governor Inslee established a Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce (CERT) to provide recommendations about the design and implementation of carbon pricing in Washington. CERT says a carbon price should: Actually cut pollution.

Marching Forward Against Climate Change

Sightline Daily

My hope is not unfounded: countries around the world and 10 US states have already bypassed indecision, and Oregon and Washington are poised to take action. Only a few outliers think there will be no costs, or that we will actually benefit from climate change (because carbon dioxide is a life-giving substance that helps plants grow—seriously, some say that ). B) Slashing pollution is good for our health.

Gregoire Pushes for Ocean Acidification Action

Sightline Daily

The money would create an ocean acidification research center at the University of Washington, help shellfish hatcheries forecast when lethal water is headed their way, and allow the state to begin teasing apart how much of the problem is caused by global carbon emissions and local pollution that could be regulated. Do what we can to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that are causing oceans to become more acidic (Top of the list? Land-based Pollution.

Ocean 79

Who Parked in my Spot?!

Sightline Daily

Soon after advertising executive Necia Dallas moved into a house in Portland, Oregon, she found on her door a detailed, hand-drawn map specifying the curb spots where each resident was permitted to park. Parking policy is a secret key to solving urban problems ranging from housing affordability to traffic, from economic vitality to carbon pollution—plus a snarl of other ills.

2013 87

Regional Cap and Trade Advances

Sightline Daily

The province will blend that program with the existing carbon tax, setting the state for BC to beceom the world leader in smart, comprehensive carbon pricing. Matt Horne at the Pembina Institute has out a new thoughtful set of recommendations for the provinces carbon programs.) Earlier this week, the states Environmental Improvement Board voted 4-to-1 in support of a carbon cap-and-trade program that will reduce state emissions by 3 percent annually from 2013 to 2020.

Meet Reggie

Sightline Daily

Carbon pricing ’s time may have come. California Governor Jerry Brown is crusading for climate regulation, Washington Governor Jay Inslee is considering cap and trade , and government leaders in Oregon are contemplating a carbon tax. New US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carbon regulations may drive states across the country to join the Northeast’s well-established cap-and-trade program.

2014 75

13 Best Energy Ideas (And 3 Really Bad Ones) :: by Sarah van Gelder

The Green Changemakers

Here are our picks for the best (and a few of the worst) ideas: Put a Price on Carbon What: Carbon pollution costs the polluter nothing; all the rest of us pay the price. Carbon taxes and “cap & trade” mechanisms make it expensive to be a carbon polluter (see Claim Your Piece of the Sky for how to do cap-and-trade right). Why: Making carbon emissions expensive encourages a switch to less carbon-intensive energy.

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The Top 14 of 2014

Sightline Daily

We took deeper dives into family-friendly urban policy, money’s influence on our democracy, and making polluters pay for their carbon pollution. 17 Things to Know About California’s Carbon Cap : The Northwest wants to make polluters pay, but Oregon and Washington don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Six years into British Columbia’s best-in-class polluter-pay carbon tax, the revolution is looking pretty great.

2014 63