Snake dams another carbon-free source some enviros hate

Like the villain in a slasher flick who just won’t stay dead, the push to remove dams from the lower Snake River is popping up again after a dormant period. The hatred by some environmentalists of any and all dams has them calling for their removal at a time when governments around the globe are […]

Troy Kelley case: “Innocent until proven guilty” isn’t the point

The saga of Troy Kelley’s troubled tenure as elected State Auditor – and it has been a saga – needs to draw to a close. Kelley can do it himself by resigning. Barring that, the state House should impeach him. With 17 criminal indictments hanging over him, Kelley has already taken a leave of absence […]

Most potential for carbon-free energy? Nuclear power

One of the great questions of our time is how we’re going to supply energy to a rapidly-expanding global population. How we answer that question will have profound implications for our environment, land use, and the global economy. Climate change coverage drives most of this debate today, but the questions here go beyond even that […]

Solyndra lied, feds bit – who will be held responsible?

“Solyndra”, like Watergate, is now in the political lexicon as shorthand for a particular kind of scandal. When the solar panel company went bankrupt in 2011, it had already wasted over $500 million in government loans, paid for by American taxpayers. For all the promises about Solyndra’s growth potential and new “clean energy” jobs, the […]

Legislature today can’t tell future legislatures what to do

It may seem kind of obvious, but apparently it bears repeating: the Legislature cannot pass a law that says future legislatures must enact this or that law or take a particular course of action. Or rather, legislators can pass such a law, it just isn’t enforceable. This type of scenario was put to the legal […]

Obama Admin bows to current reality on biofuels

The Environmental Protection Agency last week issued a decision on biofuels that angered the ethanol industry. The agency decided that current biofuels targets cannot be met in the near term, so it lowered the amount of biofuels that refiners are required to blend into gasoline. Ethanol industry representatives are apoplectic over the decision. According to […]

Cap-and-trade at state level doesn’t make sense

After its first iteration stalled in Olympia, a new version of cap-and-trade carbon taxing legislation has been revived in Olympia. The first version flamed out because not enough House Democrats could be persuaded it was a good idea. The new version is an attempt to coax more Democrats into backing the bill by adding more […]

Harry Reid is leaving. Can we safely store nuclear waste, finally?

Harry Reid, the Democratic senator from Nevada and former Majority Leader, announced recently that he will not run for re-election in 2016. Congress will be better for it. Reid has taken insult politics to a grotesque art form. His penchant for baseless charges led the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen to call him “a crass man”. […]

How to up your power bill for little in return

Smarter Government Washington’s purpose is to highlight and promote smarter public policy ideas for Washington. We’ve made it pretty clear we don’t believe I-937, the state’s renewable energy law, qualifies as smarter policy – for the economy or the environment. I-937 drove investment primarily in wind power to meet the initiative’s mandates for renewable energy […]