Nov 9, 2023
MEDIA CONTACT: Emily Moore, Sightline Institute, firstname.lastname@example.org
OREGON and WASHINGTON – The Pacific Northwest, like many places across the United States, is failing to quickly build the electric transmission lines it needs to support its transition to a clean energy economy, in part, critics argue, due to onerous permitting processes. New research from regional think tank Sightline Institute demonstrates that some, but not all, of these criticisms stand up to scrutiny in the Northwest.
The latest in a three-part analysis of the barriers to Northwest transmission building (planning for it, paying for it, and permitting it), the article interrogates common critiques from permitting reform advocates and then lays out three actions state leaders can take to reform permitting while staying true to Northwest values.
“Calls to streamline permitting processes for energy projects have divided some in the environmental movement,” said Emily Moore, author of the article and director of Sightline Institute’s climate and energy program. “But the Northwest doesn’t need to pick a side. We can craft responsible and faster approval processes that respect tribal rights and environmental protections, while moving us closer to that bigger-picture goal of climate responsibility and leadership.”
Read the full analysis: Is the Permitting Process for Transmission Lines Really Broken?
- Why is it so hard to build new transmission lines? | For starters, Cascadia has no plan.
- Who will pay for Cascadia’s transmission lines? | The multibillion-dollar question that Senator Maria Cantwell, Governor Jay Inslee, and other Northwest leaders can help answer.
- Northwest states need to build new power lines, fast | Otherwise, Oregon and Washington will miss critical climate targets.
- The Northwest needs more midsize solar | While distributed solar can’t solve the region’s transmission woes alone, Idaho and Washington would be smart to follow Oregon’s lead in boosting it for a cleaner future.
Emily Moore, Director of Sightline Institute’s Climate and Energy program, leads the organization’s work transitioning Cascadia away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner energy sources. Find her latest research here, and follow her on Twitter at @_enmoore_.
Sightline Institute is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank providing leading original analysis of energy, housing, democracy, and forests policy in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, British Columbia, and beyond.