Stuff that matters


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While one Washington ignores climate change, the other, rainier one is killing it.

To the surprise of nobody, President Trump failed to mention climate change in his State of the Union address last night. His administration has done everything in its power to roll back Obama-era environmental policies and pull federal funding from clean-energy initiatives. But while our leaders in Washington, D.C., remain hellbent on ignoring the biggest existential threat to humanity, Washington state keeps forging ahead.

Here are just a few ways the Evergreen State has been kicking ass and taking names — er, permits — lately:

  • In 2017, Millenium Bulk Terminals applied for two permits for its $680 million coal-export terminal project along the Columbia River. In November, a county hearing examiner denied the company the permits to proceed with the project, citing the terminal’s potential impact on the environment and local tribes.
  • Earlier this month, Governor Jay Inslee proposed a new carbon tax on commercial and industrial CO2 emissions at a rate of $20 per metric ton, starting in 2019. If adopted, the measure would make Washington the first state in the nation to impose a tax on polluters.
  • On Monday, Inslee dealt polluters another blow by rejecting a permit request from Vancouver Energy. The company hoped to build the largest oil-by-rail terminal in the United States. Instead, they have the go-ahead to build the nation’s first non-terminal in nowhere.