In 2009 and 2010, Sightline’s largest research project is to help craft a fair, effective climate policy for the Northwest. We’re investigating questions ranging from which type of cap and trade system is fairest for consumers to how to include transportation emissions in a cap and trade system. In 2009, as Northwest states consider significant cap and trade legislation for the first time, Sightline researchers will continue to provide key research, analyses, and consultations on fair climate policy.

On this page you’ll find our latest analyses on climate policy and cap and trade. Our researchers, Clark Williams-Derry and Eric de Place, are among the region’s leading experts on cap and trade and are available for media interviews and questions. For general questions, contact Serena Larkin at

For more information, sign up for updates on Sightline’s work or see our work on the Western Climate Initiative.

Climate Policy Basics: Why Cap and Trade?

Primer, 7/09
Cap and Trade 101: A Federal Climate Policy Primer
The basics on cap and trade and how we can do it regionally.

Webinar, 1/09
Cap and Trade in 2009
Eric de Place presents on how cap and trade works and what’s in play regionally.

Fact sheet, 5/08
FAQs: Cap and Trade in the West
How Cap and Trade works in the West.

Commentary, updated weekly
Climate Fairness — blog series
This series of posts by Alan Durning and others explores how to make climate policy fair to working families and low-income folks.

Cap and Trade: Getting it Right

Commentary, 5/08
Utilities and Auctions: There is no free power lunch
Why giving utilities free emissions permits under Cap and Trade has the potential to backfire.

Research backgrounder, 4/08
Cap and Trade and Consumer Fairness
An analysis of auctioning permits versus giving them away under a Cap and Trade system.

Report, 10/07
The Climate Impact of New Highway Lanes
Sightline does the numbers on the significant climate impact of adding new highway lanes.

The Economic Fairness Issue

Video, 11/09
Our Chance at a Clean, Green Economic Recovery
Sightline’s executive director on how green-collar jobs and climate policy can lead to economic recovery.

Commentary, updated weekly
Economic Turnaround
Sightline’s blog series looks at current economic events through the lens of viable and realistic solutions that help us live within our means.

Maps and Graphics

Chart 02/01/2008
How Low-Carbon Can You Go: The Green Travel Ranking
How can you reduce your transportation emissions? Sightline does the math on the most climate-friendly way to travel. We chart CO2 emissions by transportation mode, from an SUV to a plane to a bus. Also shows differences based on occupancy (i.e. full bus vs. half-full bus).

Chart 10/29/2007
CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuels by Sector
In the Northwest states, 53 percent of our CO2 emissions from fossil fuels stem from transportation uses including commute traffic, freight, and planes. This chart series shows emissions for the Northwest states, the US West, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Map 08/01/2007
United States of Climate Change – the 50 States
US greenhouse gas emissions from energy and their nation equivalents. Shown state by state.

January 7, 2010