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carbon

MV Puyallup is one of the biggest ferries in the fleet
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Ferries have been running a few minutes behind, and listener Nick Wilson wanted to know what was up.

Turns out ferries can reduce CO2 emissions significantly by laying off the throttle just a bit. Like, equivalent to taking more than 1,200 cars off the road.


Backers of a proposed carbon fee in Washington state say they’ve gathered 36,000 signatures and are on track to put their measure on the November ballot.

Carbon Tax Clears Washington Senate Committee

Feb 2, 2018

A tax on fossil fuel emissions is one step closer to becoming law in Washington state. An amended version of the carbon tax proposed by Gov. Jay Inslee passed the Senate Energy, Environment & Technology Committee Thursday night. 




Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is calling on state lawmakers to “step up” and pass a carbon tax this year. The Democrat made his comments Tuesday as the midpoint of the legislative session approaches.

Pedestrians cross Pike Street in front of the Convention Center on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

You might think that before a massive project like the convention center expansion is approved, Seattle would decide how the city’s ambitious climate change goals might be affected.

You’d be wrong.


Olympia Washington State Legislature
Flickr Photo/Harvey Barrison (CC BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks to Washington state Sen. Schoesler (R-Ritzville), about issues that will arise in the state legislature in the 2018 session. 

Ely Thomas, 7, runs from water spilling over a set of stairs that normally lead to the beach during a King Tide at Alki Beach Park on Friday, January 5, 2018, in West Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Tom and Marie Cawrse live on the far east side of Port Townsend, on the northeast point of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, right on the beach. 

Since their house was built three decades ago, ice caps have been melting and the ocean's been expanding as it warms up.


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is making another push for a state carbon tax. The Democrat unveiled his latest proposal Tuesday during his State of the State address.

To get to zero carbon emissions by 2050, Seattle would have to make dramatic cuts, starting now.
KUOW Illustration by nope.ltd

For more than 15 years, leaders of the Emerald City have been promising that Seattle will lead the nation in fighting climate change.

But the lofty words have been matched by continuing clouds of carbon emissions: Seattle dumps as much heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the sky today as it did 25 years ago.


KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

More electric vehicles. More charging stations. More transit. Congestion pricing for cars. Funds for affordable housing. And lobbying for a statewide carbon tax. Those are just some of the ideas Mayor Jenny Durkan and her supporters are considering to help Seattle meet ambitious carbon-emissions goals.  


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday rolled out his proposal for an update to the state’s two-year, $43 billion budget. Here are the top five items on the governor’s budget wish list:

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Bill Radke talks to Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien about why he sponsored a resolution saying Seattle will uphold the Paris Climate Agreement and how city leaders can get the city to reduce its carbon footprint. 

President Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. will leave the Paris climate deal.

Here are five things that could be affected by the decision.

1. The coal industry

Even coal companies had lobbied the Trump administration to stay in the agreement.

Can a state environmental-protection regulation be considered a “tax”?

That’s a central question in a lawsuit by business interests against Washington’s regulatory cap on carbon-pollution emissions that went into effect on Jan. 1.

The answer could determine whether Gov. Jay Inslee can make progress on reducing global warming emissions in the state, long one of his top priorities.

Gary Holland of Northeast Southwest Trucking in Portland used clean diesel grant money to replace four of his old diesel trucks with new ones, including this 2016 model.
EarthFix Photo/Cassandra Profita

The decision by Volkswagen to cheat on diesel emissions tests means Oregon and Washington are in line for a big payday.

The states plan to turn millions of dollars from the company’s settlement into cleaner air by replacing dirty old diesel engines. Some say the money presents a golden opportunity to start phasing them out altogether.

The difference between a dirty old diesel truck and a new, clean one is up to 95 percent less pollution coming out of the exhaust pipe.

President Donald Trump has made it clear climate change is not a priority for his administration, but it is still a top issue for Democratic governors and lawmakers in Washington and Oregon.

In Oregon, there’s talk of a cap-and-trade system. And in Washington, the idea of a carbon tax keeps popping up as Democrats and Republicans face off over the budget.

Polluting industries in Washington state don’t like Gov. Jay Inslee’s cap on carbon emissions -- and they don’t think it’s legal.

West Coast energy regulators met Tuesday in Seattle to renew their pledge to join forces in reducing the region's shared carbon footprint.

The chairs of the Washington, Oregon and California utility commissions cited as one of their goals the improved integration of the West Coast's power grids.

Washington's peak energy draw happens when people turn up their thermostats in the winter. Meanwhile, Californians' heavy reliance power is during the summer, when air conditioners are running, said Dave Danner, chair of the Utilities Commission of Washington.

In a new report, the Oregon Global Warming Commission says the state isn't expected to come within striking distance of its 2020 or 2050 goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The commission says the latest numbers show "a perilous reversal" in the downward trend of emissions from cars and trucks over the past few years. In short, people are driving more – and in bigger vehicles.

Data you can dread--and dance to: the Keeling Curve
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Climate change is a gradual process, driven by invisible pollution. So it can be hard to wrap your brain around.

But atmospheric scientists at the University of Washington have made it possible to listen to the planet changing. 

Bill Radke talks with Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer about what Washington state can learn about British Columbia's carbon tax, and why Palmer was not completely on board with the video love letter some Canadians made for the U.S. 

Bill Radke speaks with Kyle Murphy and Ellicott Dandy about Initiative 732, which will appear on the November ballot. The initiative would introduce a carbon tax with the goal of reducing carbon emissions.

Murphy is with the Yes on 732 campaign and he wants you to vote for the initiative. Dandy is the economic and environmental justice manager for progressive group OneAmerica, she wants you to vote no. 

This November, Washington voters must decide how to vote on the nation’s first ever carbon tax. Initiative 732 would increase taxes on fossil fuel consumption to fight climate change, but cut business and sales taxes.


President Obama and his counterparts from Canada and Mexico are preparing to unveil an ambitious new goal for generating carbon-free power when they meet this week in Ottawa.

The three leaders are expected to set a target for North America to get 50 percent of its electricity from nonpolluting sources by 2025. That's up from about 37 percent last year.

Aides acknowledge that's a "stretch goal," requiring commitments over and above what the three countries agreed to as part of the Paris climate agreement.

Aji Piper (top row, middle) Adonis Piper (second row, right) and attorney Andrea Rodgers (top row, right) at King County Superior Court, outside the courtroom where they won their case.
Courtesy of Our Children's Trust

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Aji and Adonis Piper, two of eight youth plaintiffs in the case, Zoe and Stella Foster vs. Washington Department of Ecology, and  their attorney Andrea Rodgers.

The kids took the Department of Ecology to court over inaction on curbing carbon emissions in the state. 

Washington state regulators are setting aside the rules they’ve been working on to limit the amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted into the air.

The Department of Ecology was instructed by Gov. Jay Inslee to draw up the rules. Originally they targeted about 40 companies including oil refineries, utilities, pulp and paper mills, and steel and concrete manufacturers.

Ecology held meetings with representatives of some of those companies before Friday’s announcement that it was suspending its rule-making process.

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The world's first regulations of carbon emissions from airplanes were announced Monday, and Boeing says it's on board.

TRANSCRIPT

The new regulations from a UN aviation panel (The International Civil Aviation Organization) aim to protect the global climate by requiring jets to burn less fuel. 

So far, airplanes have been a small part of the climate problem, but their role is growing fast.

Julie Felgar does environmental strategy at Boeing. 

State lawmakers this week began discussing a measure that could make Washington the first state to tax residents and businesses on their carbon emissions.

You can watch the two-hour work session, or watch the below video, which explains everything you need to know about carbon pricing in three minutes.

The Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, one of Washington's top 10 sources of greenhouse gases.
Flickr Photo/Scott Butner (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/e4EJ5B

The biggest climate polluters in Washington have been identified, according to numbers out this week: the TransAlta coal-burning power plant in Centralia, the BP oil refinery at Cherry Point and the Shell Oil refinery in Anacortes.

As the state gears up to regulate climate-harming pollution, the Washington Department of Ecology has been tracking emissions from the state's biggest sources.

Bill Radke speaks with Yoram Bauman about Carbon Washington, a state initiative that would create a carbon tax and lower the state sales tax by 1 percent. The initiative could be on the ballot in November.

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