Climate change is costing the Northwest big, causing suffocating wildfires, devastating droughts, and inhospitable marine ecosystems. But for more than a decade, Cascadian communities have stood as a bulwark against the fossil fuel industry’s aggressive schemes for dozens of coal, oil, and gas projects. Now, the region boasts some of the world’s most ambitious climate commitments and faces the urgent and enormous challenge of seeing them to fruition.  

Sightline’s Climate and Energy program focuses on achieving that vision, including by building out vast amounts of clean energy infrastructure, retiring old and polluting energy systems, and transitioning millions of homes and businesses off of gas-fueled appliances and infrastructure—and doing all of this equitably and responsibly.

Meet the team

Emily Moore, Director of Climate and Energy. Follow her on Twitter at @_enmoore_.
Laura Feinstein, energy policy research fellow

Select Projects and Resources

Transitioning off gas 

To achieve the region’s ambitious climate goals, millions of homes and businesses across Cascadia will need to transition off gas and onto clean electricity. Building and incentivizing clean appliances and infrastructure for individual homes is necessary but not sufficient to meet today’s climate challenge. Cascadia needs a step-change in ambition: pruning the gas system, electrifying whole neighborhoods, and recruiting gas utilities to “Team Climate” while combatting their obstructionism and faux solutions. Sightline analyzes what this could look like, including recommendations for policymakers in the region.

Building the electric grid Cascadia needs to decarbonize  

To achieve climate goals, Cascadia must connect enormous amounts of new wind and solar power to the grid instead of burning coal and gas, all while “electrifying everything.” New electric transmission capacity is necessary to achieving this vision, but very little is being built in the region today. Sightline’s research identifies the barriers standing in the way and what policymakers and leaders can do about it.

Report: A decade of successes against fossil fuel export projects in Cascadia 

For years, the people of Cascadia have thwarted one scheme after another from the fossil fuel industry to expand its infrastructure into the region. Sightline counted up the wins that have earned the region the moniker “where fossil fuel projects go to die”—and that serve as a global model for blocking corporate coal, gas, and oil plans on unwilling communities. Read the report.

Report: The high cost of unplanned oil refinery closures 

A spate of oil refinery closures across the US in recent years bears cautionary lessons for Washington state, home to five oil refineries itself. Their often abrupt shuttering cost thousands of high-paying jobs, millions in local funding from lost taxes for essentials like schools and hospitals, and untold cleanup burdens. Sightline’s report details those lessons and looks ahead to ways that Washington communities can avoid a similar fate. 

Sightline energy research in the news