Anti-carbon but anti-nuclear is anti-realistic

Following a one-sided public process with little debate, the Seattle City Council passed a resolution recently calling on Seattle City Light to move away from sourcing any of its power from nuclear plants. While the resolution doesn’t call for the shutdown of Washington’s only nuclear plant, anti-nuclear activists and councilmember Kshama Sawant say it will […]

Purposely raising energy prices hurts low-income families the most

Real life is about trade-offs, but you wouldn’t guess it from listening to many politicians. They speak of their policies as all-upside, no-downside. Best to keep the “narrative” simple than to muck it up with complications and negative consequences. We see that tendency in Gov. Jay Inslee, who touts his environmental regulations as not just […]

The hypocrisy of attacking good refinery jobs

Oil is bad. Just ask the “kayaktivists” who steered their oil-based kayaks into Elliott Bay last year to protest a visiting Shell oil rig. Or the “Break Free” protestors who left their garbage behind in Anacortes two weeks ago. To some, anything that strikes back at the oil industry, refineries, gasoline-powered cars, etc., is justified. […]

What we need in our next Commissioner of Public Lands

The political action in Washington this year is in our state races. Five of the nine state executive offices are open, with no incumbent running: Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, Auditor, Commissioner of Public Lands, and Superintendent of Public Instruction. We’re going to have a very different executive lineup next year. One of those positions, the Commissioner […]

Is best use of funds Christmas tree recycling or toxic clean-up?

Once government starts funding a program, it usually keeps funding that program. Often that makes sense, but too often these programs aren’t vigorously reviewed or made to justify further expenditure. They just roll over into the next budget because, hey, it was funded last year. That tendency showed itself in the funding for “public participation […]

McKenna on KIRO: Kids sue over climate change

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross brought up a lawsuit filed by “21 plaintiffs ages 8 to 19” who contend the federal government isn’t doing enough to protect them from climate change. Rob McKenna: “This is the legal equivalent of the kayaktivists on Elliott Bay. It’s a stunt for attention to the issue, and I appreciate that, […]

Inslee supports renewables, as long his friends own them

In Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration, their top issue is carbon reduction and renewable energy. No need to take my word for it, just look at the governor’s legislative agendas, his policy announcements and his out-of-state trips. No single issue sustains the governor’s attention quite like the fight against carbon. So you’d think that just about […]

McGinn, Left want a winner-picking economy where they pick

Former Seattle mayor Mike McGinn penned a column in Crosscut last week on how Gov. Inslee can “change the script” on climate issues. It included a few headscratchers, as Shift WA pointed out. Notably, McGinn is anxious to blame Senate Republicans for stalling Inslee’s agenda but won’t acknowledge that Inslee’s cap-and-trade plans clearly didn’t have […]

How obscure Olympia committees make sweeping changes

If you’ve never heard of the State Building Code Council (SBCC), you’d be far from the only one. State government often relies on appointed technical committees to deal with specialty areas, such as updating the state building code every three years. These committees can have a big impact on our daily lives without attracting much […]

Carbon regs will hit some communities hard

Alcoa announced this week that it is shuttering aluminum smelting operations in Ferndale and Wenatchee. Those communities are about to take an economic hit. The worst part is, no one knows how long the stoppage will last – or if those plants will ever re-open. The closures are due to depressed global aluminum prices, not […]