Environment

Obama Administration Readies Big Push on Climate Change

The EPA is expected to announce as soon as Wednesday plans to regulate carbon emissions from airlines, and soon after that, draft rules to cut carbon emissions from big trucks. In the coming weeks, the EPA is also expected to unveil rules aimed at reducing emissions of methane from oil and natural-gas operations. And in August, the agency will complete a suite of three regulations lowering carbon from the nation’s power plants.

The Clean Energy Governor And The Columbia River Oil Refinery

A Texas-based energy company wants to site a combined crude oil and biofuel refinery in Longview, Washington. Two thirds of the facility’s production would handle crude oil shipped by train from the Bakken shale of North Dakota. The other third would handle used cooking, seed and vegetable oils. Inslee has said publicly that he knows next to nothing about the project. Emails obtained through a public records request by OPB and EarthFix tell a different story when it comes to Inslee’s administration.

The Economist Explains: How Renewable Energy Can Become Competitive

Opponents of renewables say the level of subsidies involved shows that wind and solar investments are just boondoggles, salving the conscience of the green-minded and cossetting politically connected companies. That is true up to a point—governments have probably spent too much money on first-generation technology which is inefficient and expensive compared with what is now becoming available.

EPA’s Fracking Analysis: Something For Everyone

The word “widespread” animated the afternoon’s news cycle. “Fracking isn’t causing widespread damage to the nation’s drinking water,” The Wall Street Journal reported. That take was repeated, in one way or another, across the media spectrum. Environmental groups, meanwhile, zeroed in on other language.

How Europe’s Climate Policies Led to More U.S. Trees Being Cut Down

Soaring demand for this woody fuel has led to the construction of more than two dozen pellet factories in the Southeast in the past decade, along with special port facilities where mountains of pellets are loaded onto Europe-bound freighters. European officials promote the trade as part of the fight against climate change. But that claim is increasingly coming under challenge.

Clean Fuels Help Kids Breathe Easier, Who’s Opposed to That?

Washington’s our asthma rate is higher than the national average, and lower income communities near ports and highways are the most acutely affected. Better solutions exist, but we need a Clean Fuel Standard to create healthier options for those who need them most.

Washington State Drops, Again, in Clean-Tech Index

Washington state ranked No. 9 in a national ranking of its clean-tech sector, but is down two spots from last year. The state was dinged for its policy initiatives to promote clean tech, ranking No. 15, and its low level of capital investment in the sector.

Wildlife Habitat, Once Lost, Cannot Be Regained

Now the state Senate is proposing to reallocate funding from habitat-related categories to those categories supporting local parks and trails. We reject the false choice that pits habitat and outdoor recreation against one another. Our state remains in need of more and improved wildlife habitat. Many species are in decline as the population grows and available habitat is lost.

Shell to State: We’re In Seattle Legally Through End Of June

Shell Oil has rejected state officials’ position that parking an Arctic oil rig at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 violates the state constitution. Shell told the Washington Department of Natural Resources on Monday that it plans to keep its oil rig in Seattle until the end of June. It might bring a second rig here as well before sending them up to the Arctic Ocean this summer.