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Articles written by Todd Myers


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  • An agricultural census confirms what we've been saying for a decade: honeybee populations are increasing

    Todd Myers, Washington Policy Center|Apr 11, 2024

    It turns out that, as we have been saying for years, honeybee populations aren’t declining, but are actually increasing. A recent article in Vox notes that the talk of honeybees disappearing was “greatly exaggerated.” Admitting that his previous stories predicting the collapse of honeybee populations hadn’t aged well, the reporter explained that a recent agricultural census found that the 31 percent increase in honeybees since 2007 is “a larger increase than any other domesticated animals....

  • Lawmakers miss salmon opportunity

    Todd Myers, Washington Policy Center|Mar 21, 2024

    The legislative session is over, and it had the potential to be very positive for salmon recovery. There was bipartisan support for habitat restoration. Legislators also had a huge amount of money to allocate because the tax on CO2 emissions generated far more money than anticipated. Despite that, the Legislature failed to make significant progress on salmon. It is one more wasted opportunity to protect an iconic state species. The most glaring example of the failure is in the supplemental...

  • Washington's CO2 tax ends the year at about 43 cents a gallon, but increases are coming

    Todd Myers, Washington Policy Center|Dec 28, 2023

    Washington’s new tax on CO2 emissions ended up adding about 43 cents per gallon of gas for 2023. The final price was reduced by several market interventions by Department of Ecology staff, but prices are likely to increase next year. Ecology staff released the results from the fourth-quarter auction of CO2 emission allowances. The settlement price was $51.89, a significant drop from the previous auction price of $63.03. The average tax on CO2 in 2023 ended up at $54.74 per metric ton, which e...

  • New natural gas code violates state law

    Todd Myers, Washington Policy Center|Dec 21, 2023

    Washington’s State Building Code Council has once again adopted rules designed to eliminate natural gas energy for new residential and commercial construction. The original proposal was modified when a similar regulation adopted by the city of Berkeley, Calif., was overturned by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Like the previous version, the new rules were pushed through the process without providing adequate information about the costs of the new regulations. For example, the preliminar...

  • Washington's failure on recycling shows how unserious state's environmental goals are

    Todd Myers, Washington Policy Center|Nov 16, 2023

    Politicians like Governor Inslee frequently boast about their commitment to the environment, but too often their actions and results fall far short of their rhetoric. Recently, Susannah Frame of KING 5 TV in Seattle highlighted that on many of the environmental issues highlighted by the Inslee Administration, they are missing their goals badly. However, one metric Frame mentioned in passing – Washington’s recycling rate – shows just how unserious the governor and agency staff are about meeti...

  • Effective climate policy should make people partners, not the enemy

    Todd Myers, Washington Policy Center|Nov 9, 2023

    For decades, the underlying assumption of Washington’s environmental policy has been that politicians must dictate the rules to the public, creating regulations that force citizens to change. That top-down mindset is borne of the 1970s. Today, there are new options that are more effective, less harsh, and less expensive. The sharp contrast between the old, coercive approach and new, collaborative stewardship is being played out right now in Washington’s energy policy. To achieve Washington’s CO2...

  • Gas prices to climb even higher

    Todd Myers, Center for the Environment director at the Washington Policy Center|Aug 31, 2023

    The state held its special auction for CO2 allowances two weeks ago. When the results were announced, they indicated higher gas prices may be coming. As part of the state’s new tax on CO2 emissions, known as the Climate Commitment Act, organizations that emit CO2, like BP or Washington State University, must purchase permits for every metric ton of CO2 emitted by their operations or products. There are a limited number of permits available. So, the price is set at an auction. Regular auctions f...

  • Environmental identity overrides data

    Todd Myers|Jul 27, 2023

    By virtually all key metrics, Washington’s environmental policies are failing. And yet, when was the last time politicians, environmental activists or the media expressed concern about policy failures? Speeches and news stories are filled with demands that we save the planet, describing threats to salmon, orca, forests and the climate. And yet, there is a remarkable lack of curiosity when real-world efforts fail to address those problems. One common thread is that environmental policy g...

  • Additional costs of wind, solar power

    Todd Myers, Director of the Center for the Environment at Washington Policy Center|Jun 8, 2023

    Relying on increased wind and solar is likely to increase electricity costs for residents in Washington and Idaho, and make electricity less reliable. Advocates of wind and solar frequently point to is the claim that the fuel is “free.” That claim ignores the extremely high up-front cost of those energy sources. To account for that, energy analysts create a “levelized cost of energy” to compare between energy that has low costs up-front but has ongoing costs for the fuel – like natural g...

  • Action plans aren't always the greenest

    Todd Myers, Washington Policy Center|Sep 29, 2022

    Here is a simple question: How should we measure the success of climate policy? The answer should be, “By maximizing CO2 reduction for every dollar spent.” This smart approach is standard practice for many private companies. Both Microsoft and Amazon spend on projects that are the fastest and most effective at reducing their impact on the climate. For example, a government subsidy for rooftop solar in cloudy Western Washington costs about $200 to reduce one metric ton of CO2. Projects that cap...

  • Get ready for more expensive gas

    Todd Myers, Washington Policy Center|Aug 11, 2022

    Next year, one of the state’s newly adopted climate policies, the low-carbon fuel standard, will take effect in our state. The legislation requires companies to blend biofuels or fund charging stations for electric vehicles. Although it has increased gas prices in California and Oregon, the governor and environmental activists claim it would cost Washington drivers nothing, while the prime sponsor testified it would cost no more than 2 cents per gallon. “Don’t let anyone give you that swill...

  • Greenies attacking LC Valley

    Todd Myers|Jul 7, 2022

    For the people living in the Lewis-Clark Valley on the Snake River, Gov. Jay Inslee’s report on destroying four dams tries to offer some solace. After a “thorough review of relevant economic reports and conversations with experts,” the report’s authors have some ideas about how to offset the serious harm that would be done to the community. Reading the vague assurances from the report reminded me of another community hit by the harmful economic impacts of environmental policy: Grays Harbor...

  • Numbers show it's time to de-list wolves statewide

    Todd Myers, Washington Policy Center|Apr 14, 2022

    The state wolf population saw a significant increase, growing by 16% in 2021 according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. The number of packs grew to 23 from 29 in 2020, and the number of breeding pairs increased from 16 to 19. The consistent growth of the wolf population is good news and is the result of hard work of staff, the Wolf Advisory Group and Northeast Washington ranchers, who have taken steps to reduce wolf attacks. These good numbers contradict the rhetoric from some...

  • Democrats being dishonest about gasoline tax increase

    Todd Myers, Washington Policy Center|Mar 31, 2022

    With so much rhetoric about moving the state away from gas-powered vehicles to reduce CO2 emissions, one of the strangest claims made during the legislative session was that there was no increase in "gas taxes." Various versions of this claim appeared.At best, it is misleading, but in many cases it is false. The transportation package specifically relies on an increase in taxes on gasoline as legislative documents and the Department of Ecology admit. The $17 billion transportation package has...

  • Policies subsidize the rich, harm the poor

    Todd Myers|Dec 31, 2020

    For eight years, Washington state has consistently failed to meet our CO2-reduction targets even as energy-intensive industries have closed or left the state. Washington companies like Amazon and Microsoft have successfully met their CO2 targets. The contrast between their success and the state’s failure is telling. Unfortunately, the governor’s new proposal continues the trend of proposing costly and ineffective strategies that focus more on political special interests than responsible env...