Sightline Institute researches the key sustainability trends that are shaping the future of the Pacific Northwest—and how the Northwest’s citizens and policymakers can help make our region a global model for sustainability. For other recent work visit Sightline Daily or the Cascadia Scorecard.
Research & Maps
The Pacific Northwest stands at a crossroads of dirty energy exports and hungry Asian markets. We are the thin green line between the two, and our choices together in the coming years not only will determine the health and safety of our local communities, but also will help shape our planet’s future. (Video version available, too!) view graphic »
A look at the carbon dimensions of two climate change disasters in the making: the Keystone XL Pipeline and new coal export terminals in the Northwest. view graphic »
Since 2012, nearly a dozen plans have emerged to ship crude oil by train to Northwest refineries and port terminals. Moving large quantities of oil by rail would be a major change for the Northwest’s energy economy, but so far the proposals have largely escaped notice. Most media accounts to date have presented only a fragmented view of the developments, and government regulators are evaluating the projects largely in isolation from one another. This memo presents the first comprehensive, region-wide review of all the oil-by-rail projects planned or currently operating in the Pacific Northwest. It finds that: In Oregon and … read more »
A comparison of the oil capacity (existing and proposed) of Northwest oil-by-rail projects to that of other major North American oil projects. view graphic »
In Oregon and Washington, 10 refineries and port terminals are planning, building, or already operating oil-by-rail terminals. view graphic »
For nearly six decades, Washington State has given away hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue through an “accidental” loophole with no clear public policy objective. Giving away millions to the state’s oil industry every year is hard to understand. At a time when the state is facing budget shortfalls and is trying to cut emissions, subsidizing Big Oil simply doesn’t add up. It’s for the legislature to decide whether we’ll close this loophole to help shore up the state budget or continue this hidden handout to oil companies. Read the factsheet here: .
How the oversupply of parking undermines housing affordability. read more »
A new Sightline report shows that the collapse in coal prices jeopardized Peabody Energy’s coal export plans. read more »
Alan Durning takes a hard look at the pinch of expensive urban housing and sees what many others have missed. Hidden in city regulations is a set of simple but powerful barriers to housing for all. These rules criminalize history’s answers to affordable dwellings: the rooming house, the roommate, the in-law apartment, and the backyard cottage. In effect, cities have banned what used to be the bottom end of the private housing market. They’ve made urban quarters expensive and scarce. In Unlocking Home: Three Keys to Affordable Community, Durning details how to revive inexpensive housing in walkable neighborhoods—at no cost to the public—by striking a few lines from municipal law books. read more »
The 8 million metric tons of coal slated to come through Portland annually would make a pile 1/3 of a mile in diameter and three feet taller than the Wells Fargo Center. view graphic »