Author: todd wynn

REPORT: The Dirty Secret Behind Clean Jobs

With unemployment on the rise, new jobs are scarce. Creating jobs has become a top priority for politicians. One can hardly watch the news without hearing catch phrases like the “renewable energy economy,” “green jobs” and “leading the world in clean energy technologies.” In short, environmental policies have been rebranded as job creators.

Cascade Policy Institute’s new report, The Dirty Secret Behind Clean Jobs, reveals numerous flaws with this approach. The authors address the misconceptions behind creating “green jobs.” The definition of “green jobs” is vague, green job subsidies are based on flawed economic principles and, lastly, assumptions for job growth are inaccurate or downright false.

The report’s co-author, Nick Sibilla, states, “Our report focuses on Oregon, national and international attempts to create green jobs. Overwhelmingly, we found that green jobs are based on faulty economics and wishful thinking.”

The Dirty Secret Behind Clean Jobs reveals:

  • Numerous definitions of the term “green jobs” exist. In fact, most government agencies interchange the terms “clean” and “green,” adding to the confusion of what really constitutes an environmentally friendly job.
  • Proclamations about green jobs fixing the economy are exaggerated and misleading. Oregon employers predicted the number of green jobs would grow 14 percent between 2008 and 2010, which would have equated to 7,400 new jobs in the state. Meanwhile, statewide employment levels have dropped by 140,000 jobs over the same two-year period.
  • “Clean jobs” turns out to be just another term for big government. According to The Brookings Institution, the industry of “regulation and compliance” (i.e., government employees) was the fourth largest source of clean jobs in the United States. Meanwhile, in Oregon, three of the larger green jobs employers are the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. All of those salaries are ultimately paid by taxpayers.
  • One clear example of green job pork barrel spending is the Shepherds Flat wind farm under construction in Gilliam and Morrow Counties. The project has obtained $1.2 billion in federal, state and local subsidies but will create only 35 permanent jobs. Each job will cost over $34 million to American taxpayers.
  • Green job estimates do not account for job losses in other sectors. Spain, a pioneer in renewable energy before the recession, is a sobering example. A recent Spanish economic analysis revealed that for every green job created, more than two jobs were lost.
  • Many green job advocates claim that green industries are more labor intensive and thus create more jobs than other sectors of the economy. Although inefficiency is not something to be praised, the claims are still downright false. A recent Italian study suggests the green industry is a capital-intensive, not a labor-intensive, industry and that the data show that green investments generate fewer jobs than investments in other sectors of the economy.

Cascade’s vice president and co-author of the report, Todd Wynn, stated, “Despite the continued rhetoric from politicians, our report shows the utter failure of the green job movement. It turns out to be more about corporate welfare and government handouts than actual job creation.”

DOWNLOAD THE DIRTY SECRET BEHIND CLEAN JOBS REPORT

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Todd Wynn
T: 503.242.0900
F: 503.242.3822

 

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BPA Fact Sheet

Despite considerable fears raised by activist groups and the press, the science does not warrant regulations on Bisphenol-A (BPA). Instead, it shows that human exposure is too low to have any measurable impact even for infants and children. As a result, regulatory measures to ban BPA could have unintended, adverse health and safety consequences.

Second, the consumer market is already adjusting to meet the demands of overly concerned Oregonians. Numerous manufacturers produce BPA-free beverage containers and major retailers are asking for alternatives to meet consumer demand. This should make one wonder why legislation is even needed to address BPA worries.

Cascade Policy Institute has put together this concise fact sheet to address the myths and misconceptions associated with BPA.

Click here to download the facts on BPA.

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The high price of “green” power

The following excerpt is provided by The Executive Club:

6:00 pm •  Wed, May 4th  •  Airport Shilo
The high price of “green” power


Todd Wynn, Vice President of Cascade Policy Institute, will be on hand for the May meeting to, well, illuminate the dramatic increases in Oregonians’ utility bills because of the pop-culture foolishness that passes for wisdom in Salem.

Since January 1,  Pacific Power electric rates have increased by 14.5% and PGE rates by 4.2%.  These increases were due largely to restrictive energy policies adopted in Salem under the state’s politically trendy  “Renewable Portfolio Standard.”   Cascade has just released a report showing that this energy mandate, passed in 2007, is already laying additional financial burdens on Oregonians and will certainly do much more damage over the next 15 years!

Be at the Shilo meeting to fully understand the plight facing you and other Oregon ratepayers.  More to the point, learn what you can do to fight back against this state’s latest politically correct, foolish, threat to the entire Oregon economy.

Meeting Bonus!
(something else to make make your blood boil).
Many who benefit from the clear and sparkling water provided by the Bull Run watershed (most of you) may be surprised to hear that not all is well in the Portland Water World.  That is why we will also a have a quick update from Scott Fernandez, the man who is confronting Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard over Leonard’s  determination to push a needless modification of the pristine water system.

This is a fascinating story.  If Leonard prevails, water bills from that system will be rising 85% over the next 5 years!  Fernandez, a trained microbiologist, in a short, concise presentation, will tell us why Leonard’s plans are so very costly and so unnecessary!

 

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The ABCs of Environmental Hysteria: Activists, Bisphenol-A and Children

Spreading like wildfire, more attempts have been made to ban Bisphenol-A (BPA) at the state level in 2011 than in any previous year. More than 50 bills have been introduced in legislatures across the country to ban a chemical that commonly lines beverage and food containers. The Oregon Senate recently passed Senate Bill 695, which would make illegal the sale, distribution or manufacturing of a child’s beverage container made or lined with BPA. The bill, now headed to the Oregon House, is a perfect example of baseless environmental hysteria leading to illogical and destructive regulations.

 

Year after year, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, environmental lobbyists and activists descend upon the state capitol to convince legislators that “evil” corporations insist on using a chemical they claim is unsafe. With the emotional argument of “saving children from cancer” as their mainstay, these activists are pressuring Salem politicians to ban BPA altogether.

A number of important lessons can be gleaned from their efforts:

First, people tend to overestimate risk and to exaggerate the benefits of risk-reducing laws. Proponents of banning BPA insist that government should use the “precautionary principle.” This means that if a possibility of causing harm to the public exists, despite lack of a scientific consensus, then politicians have a “social responsibility” to protect the public by passing laws to prevent possible harm. The precautionary principle allows politicians to justify discretionary decisions based solely on public fear. In the case of BPA, politicians may choose to ban the product entirely, even if the scientific community continues to exonerate this chemical of the claims made against it.

In BPA’s defense, we know a lot about it. In wide use for over fifty years, the chemical has been  extensively studied. The science has revealed that consumer exposure to BPA is far below levels of concern, even for infants and children. BPA is actually quite useful in protecting consumers against food contamination. In other words, banning BPA could create significant new risks. Products or other chemicals that would be introduced to perform the same functions may be more expensive, not work as well, and produce new safety problems that have yet to be studied. Thus, switching to a less tested and potentially less safe alternative is risky for children and infants. In this case, adherence to the precautionary principle actually should preclude the use of the precautionary principle by those concerned about public health!

Second, the consumer market is already adjusting to meet the demands of chemical hypochondriacs. Numerous manufacturers produce BPA-free beverage containers, and major retailers such as Walmart are asking for alternatives to meet consumer demand. BPA-free manufacturers openly advertise their products as BPA-free. When a consumer desire becomes mainstream, regardless of whether it is scientifically justified, a free market will meet that demand. This should make one wonder why politicians in Salem think they need legislation to address BPA worries.

Finally, BPA is just today’s target in a never-ending war by environmentalists to eliminate from the environment anything humanly manufactured. This attitude can be summed up with one word: chemophobia – the unreasonable conviction that all chemicals are bad and that all things loosely defined as “natural” are good. Fear makes it difficult for anyone – let alone politicians – to take a rational look at the issue, especially when ban proponents are pulling the “Do you hate children?” card.

Although reason and objectivity eventually should win a debate, they often don’t. That is yet another reason why it is so important to limit government interference. As more state politicians pressured by hard-charging environmentalists and misguided parents move to ban BPA, pressure will build on those who hold out. Unjustified bans become the rationale for more bans. Sadly, it won’t stop with BPA, as special interests always will strive to use government to control fellow citizens and to limit their choices.

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Todd on "I Spy on Salem"

Todd was a guest on I Spy on Salem radio last week. Todd’s clip is part two of a three part series on the Energy Trust of Oregon. You can listen to Todd’s portion by clicking to the right, otherwise part one is below.

Part I

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Testimony on House Bill 3538: Regarding Climate Trust’s Offset Programs

Testimony before the House Committee on Energy, Environment and Water on March 29, 2011:

Co-Chair Cannon, Co-Chair Gilliam and members of the Committee, my name is Todd Wynn. I am Vice President and energy policy analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization based in Portland. Our mission is to promote policies that enhance individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity in Oregon.

I am here to testify today against House Bill 3538.

Background

The original purpose of House Bill 3283 is to regulate and reduce CO2 emissions from regulated facilities by implementing carbon offset projects. The Climate Trust, the only “qualified” organization that receives funds according to the bill, has proven ineffective and wasteful.

House Bill 3538 would change the original purpose of the carbon dioxide standard set forth in HB 3283 and set up the possibility for more fraud and abuse with regard to delivering real, verifiable, and additional carbon offsets.

1. The Climate Trust is not transparent

Because The Climate Trust’s existence is a function of state law regulating facilities, it should be subject to the same standards as public agencies for release of public records.

The Climate Trust has refused to answer questions that could be considered “critical” of carbon offsets[1] and has refused to provide access to the recent five-year report.[2]

The Climate Trust’s annual reports have not been accurate updates. They have been overly positive reports addressing self-proclaimed success and not mentioning failure or specifics of projects.

Many documents such as funding and dollar amounts spent on certain projects are unable to be retrieved or accessed.

2. The Climate Trust has failed to reduce carbon dioxide and to adhere to the monetary offset rate according to House Bill 3283

The Climate Trust has never adhered to the monetary offset rate established by the Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC), and this has led to a major shortfall in offsets that were paid for by regulated facilities.

The Climate Trust has admitted to paying more than the established monetary offset rate in the last five-year report to the EFSC. Out of thirteen projects, the Climate Trust estimates they spend an average of $3.45 per metric ton, which is well above the current 2007 rate of $1.40 per metric ton. Since The Climate Trust pays an amount higher than the established rate, carbon dioxide is not being offset as according to HB 3283.

The table above shows five of The Climate Trust’s projects that have data on offsets delivered and funds spent. This table describes the shortfall of offsets that should have occurred and the value of these offsets to regulated facilities.

The Climate Trust on these five projects alone has an offset shortfall of 649,923 metric tons which, at the offset rate of $1.40 per metric ton, amounts to $909,893 of regulated facility money.

3. The Climate Trust has continuously failed to produce verifiable and additional carbon offsets

Cascade Policy Institute audited 58% of the offset projects in The Climate Trust portfolio. Cascade Policy Institute audited projects that were completed or near completion in order make use of monitoring and verification reports and other data.[3]

A closer look into the portfolio showed there are numerous problems that undermine the quality and effectiveness of The Climate Trust’s projects. Lack of additionality and accountability of funds, inaccurate assumptions, difficulty in verifying and monitoring results, lack of permanence and leakage issues are most of the problems that plague the analyzed offset projects.

Brief overview on failure of projects:

 

Deschutes Riparian Reforestation– In addition to only completing approximately 18% of its 2008 goal, The Climate Trust needlessly paid a lumber company to plant more trees on an already stocked land thus negating additionality.

Preservation of a Native Northwest Forest– Climate Trust funds that were supposed to be allocated to the Lummi Indian tribe to purchase 1,654 acres of forest were used to fund the tribe’s annual canoe journey and a college scholarship program.

Blue Heron Paper Manufacturer Efficiency Upgrade– Climate Trust funds that were supposed to be the deciding factor in whether Blue Heron could finance an energy efficiency upgrade were not allocated to the company. Blue Heron’s energy and environment department head stated that they would have completed the upgrades at some point in the future in order to stay competitive thus negating additionality.

Portland Building Efficiency Program– Monitoring and verification reports used two different estimates to calculate the offsets that were not additional. These figures were highly significant in determining the actual amount of offsets paid for and claimed by The Climate Trust. This leads to serious questions on the additionality of these offsets.

Traffic Signal Optimization– The City of Portland already committed to optimizing traffic signals over two years before The Climate Trust’s involvement which negates additionality. In addition, the third party that performed the calculations on fuel savings admitted the estimates were inaccurately calculated.

Internet Based Carpool Matching– The Climate Trust only achieved 1.4% of the ten-year goal and allowed the City of Portland to “make up” the offsets through two projects that were neither monitored nor verified.

Innovative Wind Financing– The Climate Trust paid for renewable energy certificates (RECs) which do not represent actual reductions in carbon dioxide. Subsequently, The Climate Trust has written a policy paper proving why RECs are not offsets.

4. Allowing the Climate Trust to offset more than carbon dioxide goes against the original purpose of House Bill 3283 and opens up the opportunity for more waste and abuse.

The original intent of House Bill 3283 was to reduce and offset carbon dioxide emissions from regulated facilities. This did not include all greenhouse gases.

The majority of fraudulent carbon offset projects have stemmed from greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide. Massive fraud on the international scale has been attributed to the destruction of trifluoromethane (HFC-23) a greenhouse gas byproduct of manufacturing refrigerant gases. The carbon offset credits that sold to reduce HFC-23 are twice as valuable as the refrigerant itself.

 

A study found that almost three-quarters of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) registered offset projects were already complete at the time of approval, and thus, didn’t need carbon credits to be built. An estimated 40 percent of CDM projects registered by 2007 represented “unlikely or at least questionable” emission cuts. Between a third and two-thirds of CDM offsets don’t represent actual emission cuts.[4]

Conclusion

HB 3283 was originally passed with the intention of reducing manmade carbon dioxide, not other greenhouse gases.

The Climate Trust has proven itself to be wasteful and non-transparent in its operations.

Allowing The Climate Trust to offset more than carbon dioxide violates the original intent of the law and opens the door for more fraudulent non-additional offsets at the Oregon ratepayer expense.

I urge the members of this committee to vote no on HB 3538.


[1] Email from Mike Burnett, Executive Director of The Climate Trust. November 28, 2008.

[2] Phone call from Amy Phillips, Marketing and Communications Director of The Climate Trust. September 9, 2009.

[3] Money for Nothing: The Illusion of Carbon Offsets. February 2009. Available at https://cascadepolicy.org/pdf/env/Climate_Trust_Audit_021009.pdf

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Testimony on House Bill 2992: House Committee on Energy Environment and Water

March 24, 2011

 

Co-Chair Cannon, Co-Chair Gilliam and members of the Committee, my name is Todd Wynn. I am Vice President and energy policy analyst of Cascade Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization based in Portland. Our mission is to promote policies that enhance individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity in Oregon.

 

I am here to testify today in support of House Bill 2992.

 

Economic Costs of Not Classifying Hydro as Renewable

 

In 2007, legislators passed Senate Bill 838 which established the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). This legislation forces the major utilities to procure 25% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2025. The bill established a narrow definition of renewable energy which specifically excludes the vast majority of energy produced from Oregon’s hydroelectric system.

 

Cascade Policy Institute’s recently released economic analysis, The Economic Impact of Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, shows that the RPS with the current strict definition of renewable energy will lead to significant negative economic consequences as only more expensive and intermittent sources of energy qualify[1]:

 

Over the period of 2015 to 2025, the mandate will cost Oregonians an additional $6.811 billion over conventional power within a range of $4.009 billion and $9.310 billion.

 

In 2025, the mandates will cost families an average of $247 per year, commercial businesses an average of $1,394 per year and industrial businesses an average of $11,585 per year.

 

By 2025 the Oregon economy will lose an average of 17,530 jobs, within a range of between 10,025 jobs under the low-cost scenario and 24,630 jobs under the high-cost scenario.

 

Due to higher home energy costs, in 2025, annual real disposable income will fall by $170 million, within a range of $101 million and $230 million.

 

 

 

 

 

Oregon is One of the Nation’s Leaders in Clean Energy Generation

 

Oregon is ranked 48th out of 50 states in the amount of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide produced per unit of electricity generated. The state is also 46th in the amount of sulfur dioxide per unit of electricity generated. This is mainly due to Oregon’s high use of hydroelectricity.[2]

 

 

 

Emissions (thousand metric tons) Rank out of U.S. States
Sulfur Dioxide 11 44
Nitrogen Oxide 12 43
Carbon Dioxide 7,088 42
Sulfur Dioxide (lbs/MWh) 0.5 46
Nitrogen Oxide (lbs/MWh) 0.5 48
Carbon Dioxide (lbs/MWh) 293 48

 

 

The Energy Information Administration currently considers hydroelectricity to be a renewable energy source. When hydroelectricity is defined as renewable energy, Oregon is third out of the entire nation in capacity and generation of renewable energy, generating more than 60% of its energy from renewables.

 

In contrast, for the nation as a whole, renewable sources supply approximately eight percent of total electric power generation.[3]

 

Conclusion

 

Establishing a strict politically motivated definition for renewable energy does not acknowledge the vast amount of clean electricity that the state is producing and using.

 

Excluding hydroelectricity from the RPS will also cause significant negative economic impacts on the state’s economy as utilities are forced to increase their percentage of expensive and unreliable sources of energy.

 

It is best to establish a realistic definition of renewable energy, finally acknowledge our clean energy production and begin reforming a forceful and unrealistic push for expensive renewable energy sources.


[1] The Economic Impact of Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, Cascade Policy Institute. March 10, 2011. Available at https://cascadepolicy.org/news/2011/03/10/new-study-forcing-oregonians-to-purchase-renewable-energy-proves-costly/

[2] Energy Information Administration 2008. Statistics are for 2006.

[3] Energy Information Administration.

 

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Oops! Renewable Energy Costs Oregon Billions

In 2007, Oregon legislators decided they would force Oregonians to purchase renewable energy whether or not they wanted it or could afford it. Legislators proclaimed this would help the Oregon economy and make our energy system more affordable and reliable. They were wrong.

 

Last year, one in 30 Oregonians had their electricity cut off due to inability to pay, and enrollment in the low-income energy assistance program has increased significantly. On January 1, 2011, electricity rates increased significantly for Oregon households: Pacific Power rates increased by 14.5% and PGE rates by 4.2%. PGE also added a “Renewable Resource Adjustment” to ratepayers’ bills in January 2010. Currently, this rate is set at 0.22 cents per kWh, or approximately $2.13 extra per month, for an average household. Rate increases such as these will be the norm over the next fifteen years as utilities work to comply with restrictive energy policies on the state and the federal levels.

 

But legislators proclaimed that the 2007 renewable energy mandate would help “accelerate the transition to a more reliable and more affordable energy system.” What went wrong?

 

Unfortunately, renewable energy costs more than traditional energy sources and is often less reliable. Although generating energy from wind turbines and solar panels is essentially free, the costs of construction, maintenance and integrating inconsistent energy into the grid are prohibitively expensive. Thus, adding more renewable energy will increase costs and cause substantial economic hardships for Oregonians and Oregon businesses.

 

A Cascade Policy Institute report, The Economic Impact of Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, exposes the cost of renewable mandates on the Oregon economy. Over the period of 2015-2025, the average Oregonian household will pay an additional $1,706 in higher electricity costs. The average commercial business will spend an extra $9,641 and the average industrial business an extra $80,115. Over the same period, the mandate will cost Oregonians an additional $6.811 billion over conventional power, within a range of $4.009 billion and $9.310 billion.

 

Higher costs will lead to loss of jobs as well. By 2025 the Oregon economy will lose an average of 17,530 jobs, within a range of 10,025 jobs under the low-cost scenario and 24,630 jobs under the high-cost scenario.

 

Legislators may be able to justify higher electricity costs if environmental benefits, in terms of reduced emissions, outweigh the costs. However, it is unclear that the use of renewable energy resources, especially wind and solar, actually reduces emissions. Due to their intermittency, wind and solar require significant backup power sources that are cycled up and down to accommodate the variability in the production of wind and solar power. As a result, a recent study found that wind power actually increases pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Also, businesses and industries with high electricity usage likely will move their production, and emissions, out of Oregon to locations with lower electricity prices. Therefore, increasing renewable energy in the state will not reduce global emissions, but rather send jobs and capital investment outside the state.

 

In the end, renewable energy can and should expand according to voluntary purchases that reflect true demand. Government should not be mandating that citizens purchase a product they may not value or cannot afford.

 

It is time to face the truth. Legislators thought that by forcing Oregonians to purchase renewable energy they could make electricity more affordable and reliable. They were wrong. As a first step, legislators should repeal the renewable energy mandate and other restrictive energy policies before electricity costs spiral out of control. In addition, future energy policies need to be subject to a rigorous analysis of economic costs and environmental benefits.

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Todd talks Renewable Energy Portfolios on Jason Lewis

Listen to Todd Wynn talk about renewable energy portfolios on the Jason Lewis show (click play to the right).

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Oregon Catalyst features Cascade’s newest report on the cost of renewable energy

http://oregoncatalyst.com/8204-darker-side-green-tens-thousands-lost-jobs-oregonians-pay-electric-bills.html

Oregon Transformation makes a blog post on Oregon Catalyst describing the impacts of restrictive energy policies on the Oregon economy.

These results came from our recently released economic analysis showing that renewable mandates imposed by the Oregon legislature in 2007 will have a significant and negative impact on our economy and standard of living.

 

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Oregon Catalyst blog features Cascade’s renewable energy economic impact report

http://oregoncatalyst.com/8204-darker-side-green-tens-thousands-lost-jobs-oregonians-pay-electric-bills.html

Oregon Transformation makes a blog post on Oregon Catalyst describing the impacts of restrictive energy policies on the Oregon economy.

These results came from our recently released economic analysis showing that renewable mandates imposed by the Oregon legislature in 2007 will have significant and negative impacts on our economy and standard of living.

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Renewable Energy: Leaving Oregonians out in the Cold

In 2010, approximately one in 30 Oregonians had their electricity cut off due to inability to pay. Enrollment in the low-income assistance program has increased significantly in the past few years. Part of this was undoubtedly due to the recession, but mandating the addition of more renewable energy to the grid has and will continue to increase electricity rates. Ever-increasing rates will leave even more Oregonians unable to pay their bills.

In 2007, Oregon legislators passed Senate Bill 838 which established a state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), effectively forcing utility customers to purchase renewable energy. A recent economic analysis by Cascade Policy Institute reveals this bill has significant negative consequences which are just beginning to come to light.

(more…)

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New Study: Forcing Oregonians to Purchase Renewable Energy Proves Costly

Cascade Policy Institute has released a new study showing that the Oregon legislature’s renewable energy mandates passed in 2007 will be costly to citizens and will threaten standards of living and economic recovery.

The Oregon legislature has officially convened, and legislators are hard at work crafting or reforming energy policy. With an economy in recession, budget shortfalls and a recent and significant increase in electricity rates, legislators have much to address with regard to how we generate electricity in this state.

Renewable energy mandates and other restrictive energy policies are just beginning to cause financial burdens to Oregonians and, according to Cascade’s report, over the next 15 years much more damage will be done.

The report, The Economic Impact of Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, prepared by economists at the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston, found that mandates forcing renewable energy on ratepayers will increase electricity rates significantly. Between 2015 and 2025, the average Oregon household will pay an additional $1,706 in higher electricity costs. The average commercial business will spend an extra $9,641, and the average industrial business an extra $80,115.
(more…)

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Todd Wynn testifies before the Oregon Senate on the proposed plastic bag ban

Todd Wynn presents the Oregon Senate with information from Cascade Policy Institute and the Beacon Hill Institute on the financial and job related impacts of the plastic bag ban.

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Todd Hosts Bill Post Part 2 (VIDEO)

Click here for part 1

Todd Wynn fills in for Bill Post on Feb 7th, 2011. Guests from this second hour include:

John Audley from the Renewable Northwest Project and Paul Bachman from The Beacon Hill Institute on renewable mandates in Oregon

John Audley from Renewable Northwest Project and Paul Chesser from the American Tradition Institute on renewable mandates in the US

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Todd Wynn on Bill Post Hour 1 (VIDEO)

Click here for Part 2

Todd Wynn fills in for Bill Post on Feb 7th, 2011. Guests from this first hour include:

Christina Martin – Cascade Policy Institute – discusses education, school choice, and the upcoming legislative session.

Gus Gates – Surfrider Foundation – discusses the plastic bag ban in Oregon.

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Todd debates the bag ban on Populations TV

Todd and Gus Gates of the Surfrider Foundation debate the plastic bag ban on Populations TV.

A special thanks to Jim Winkle and Populations TV

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The Proper Role of Government: Banning Bags and Setting Prices?

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

The Proper Role of Government: Banning Bags and Setting Prices?
by Todd Wynn
Download PDF

One of the most controversial debates in Oregon’s state capitol this year is banning single-use bags, Senate Bill 536. There is something more important to add to the debate than just the rhetoric from environmental activists, politicians, paper companies and grocery stores. The question of whether government has the right to ban a product and to force retailers to charge a government-created price is an important one to consider, and it has significant implications for government involvement in Oregonians’ lives.
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Todd Hosts the Bill Post Radio show

Check out the audio of Todd filling in as host for the Bill Post Radio show (2/7/2011).

[audio:ToddPost-2011-2-7-pt1.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary
Todd and Christina talk education

 

[audio:ToddPost-2011-2-7-pt2.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary
Todd talks to Gus Gates of the Surfrider Foundation about the plastic bag ban

 

[audio:ToddPost-2011-2-7-pt3.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary
Todd talks with John Audley from the Renewable Northwest Project and Paul Bachman from The Beacon Hill Institute on renewable mandates in Oregon

 

[audio:ToddPost-2011-2-7-pt4.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary
Todd talks with John Audley from Renewable Northwest Project and Paul Chesser from the American Tradition Institute on renewable mandates in the US

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Oregon’s Bag Tax: The Economic Impacts on Oregonians and Retail Stores

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, February 8, 2011
CONTACT: TODD WYNN
CASCADE POLICY INSTITUTE
TEL.: 503-242-0900
FAX: 503-242-3822
E-MAIL: TODD@CASCADEPOLICY.ORG

Oregon’s Bag Tax: The Economic Impacts on Oregonians and Retail Stores

Download the report here

A proposed retail bag ban in Oregon would have a significant negative economic impact according to a report released today by Cascade Policy Institute and Americans for Tax Reform.

One of the first bills likely to be voted on during this 2011 legislative session is the ban on single use bags in retail stores across Oregon. The Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources will hold a public hearing in Salem today at 3:00pm on the ban. If the legislature ultimately passes Senate Bill 536, it would be the first statewide bag ban in the United States.

If passed, retail stores will still be allowed to offer paper bags, but they must charge a minimum of 5 cents per bag. This minimum charge has the same effect as a new tax on consumers.

Cascade Policy Institute and Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) partnered with the Beacon Hill Institute in releasing a short report, Oregon’s Bag Tax: The Economic Impacts on Oregonians and Retail Stores, showing the financial burdens that would be imposed by the bag tax.

The report, prepared by economists at the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston, found that the bag tax would have a significant negative impact on the state’s economy and on Oregonians.  All other things being equal, Oregonians will allocate a portion of their spending to the bag tax and, as a result, businesses will suffer a reduction in sales and profits. The reduction in sales would lead to a reduction in employment and investment.

“At a time when voters are concerned about jobs and the economy, sponsors of this regressive bag ban seek to destroy millions of dollars of disposable income and investment in Oregon,” said ATR President Grover Norquist. “This is yet another example of government’s penchant for collateral damage – in this case slamming job seekers and the working poor.”

For fiscal year 2012, the report finds:

(more…)

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Plastic Bags: It’s Time to Get Beyond “Ban, Ban, Ban”

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

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by Todd Wynn

Ban styrofoam, ban Bisphenol-A, ban plastic bags, ban phosphate dishwashing detergents, ban coal. What else can we ban? That represents the typical mantra for environmental groups and activists these days. Their only method of effecting change is to use government force to take choice from citizens. (more…)

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Renewable Energy Woes

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

Renewable Energy Woes

by Todd Wynn

Earlier in the decade, the City of Portland and the State of Oregon set goals for the government to reach 100% renewable energy by 2010. Both failed miserably. Portland reached only nine percent and the state only one or two percent. What was the reason for failure? According to state officials, the goal was unrealistic and too costly.

Although fiscal reality blocked the government’s goal, another goal will directly affect Oregon households. In 2007, the Oregon legislature imposed a Renewable Portfolio Standard. Major electric utilities are forced to provide 25% of their energy from renewable sources (excluding hydroelectricity) by 2025. This means all ratepayers are forced to pay for renewable energy whether they want or can afford it.

(more…)

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Renewable Energy Failure: Why Government Mandates Don’t Work and What They Will Do to Our Economy

By Torey Holderith and Todd Wynn

Download the full report

Here is an excerpt:

Renewable energy has long been hailed as the cure-all for Oregon’s economy. “Good policy, good for economic development, good for the environment,” the Oregon Department of Energy declared. Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? That’s because it is. Good public policy enables long-term achievement while also enabling short-term success. The reality of the energy policies coming out of the State of Oregon and the City of Portland is that they do neither. (more…)

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City of Portland and State of Oregon Fail to Achieve 2010 Renewable Energy Goals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Todd Wynn
Vice-President
Cascade Policy Institute
503-242-0900
todd@cascadepolicy.org
www.cascadepolicy.org

City of Portland and State of Oregon Fail to Achieve 2010 Renewable Energy Goals

Download full report here.

Portland, OR, December 14, 2010 – In the last decade the City of Portland and the State of Oregon set goals for the government to reach 100% renewable energy use by 2010.

Nothing regarding the progress of reaching these goals has been released to date.

Why? Because both entities have failed miserably due to the goals being unrealistic from the start and the reality of fiscal responsibility finally setting in. (more…)

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Renewable Energy Via Freedom, Not Force

Todd Wynn

Renewable Energy Via Freedom, Not Force

By Todd Wynn

This article was published as a guest column on EarthTechling.com.

Many believe the free market and renewable energy are at odds. Renewable energy advocates proclaim fossil fuels will continue to dominate the energy landscape, even if consumers perceive them to be rife with environmental issues. This belief has driven political leaders to subsidize renewable energy development, mandate utilities to provide renewable energy options, and force citizens to purchase them. The free-market stance looks at the situation differently.

(more…)

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Todd on Populations

Todd Wynn

Todd Wynn on Population’s

Check out Todd Wynn discussing the BP oil spill, energy policy, and climate change on Populations TV.

Special thanks to Populations. You can check out other interviews like this at http://www.populationsprogram.com/

 

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Todd on Sustainability Today TV

Watch Todd Wynn discuss renewable energy, wind power, and other environmental topics on Sustainable Today TV.

Special thanks to Sustainable Today for the video!

 

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The Tax Dollar Addiction

Todd Wynn
QuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint6-15-10Todd.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

by Todd Wynn

The Tax Dollar Addiction

Download PDF Here

Drug addiction is tough to deal with, both for the addict and for his or her friends and family. Those around drug addicts lend or give them money and often are surprised when they use it to buy more drugs. It is important for those who care for an addict to show support, yet not enable him to make more bad decisions. This is how we need to treat our legislators.

(more…)

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Cascade Report: Think Twice Why Wind Power Mandates Are Wrong for the Northwest

Todd Wynn

Cascade Report: Think Twice Why Wind Power Mandates Are Wrong for the Northwest

by Todd Wynn and Eric Lowe

New report by Todd Wynn and Eric Lowe highlights the problem with the legislature picking winners and losers in the energy market.

Download the Full Report

Watch an Interview with Todd Wynn about the perils of forcing wind energy on the grid.

Click through for full report

(more…)

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Worried About Climate Change? Promote Free Markets!

Todd Wynn
Cascade Commentary

Worried About Climate Change? Promote Free Markets!

by Todd Wynn

Every day more and more Americans are growing skeptical of the climate change doomsday claims and plans to ration energy through cap-and-trade type proposals. Despite this, many environmentalists still claim that far-reaching government intervention is needed to achieve greater energy efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the threat of global warming. Although there has been no statistically significant global warming since at least 1995, the same groups often claim economic growth and lack of comprehensive environmental regulations have created a society that wastes energy and pays no regard to greenhouse gas emissions. But what if less energy use and lower greenhouse gas emissions are a byproduct of limited government and economic freedom? What if environmentalists’ goals can be reached by freer markets and prosperity? Recent Cascade Policy Institute research shows that very phenomenon.

(more…)

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Come to the Cascade Open House!

Come enjoy some free food and drinks with your favorite Cascadians! We’re having an Open House May 14th, 2010 from 4pm – 7pm at our office (4850 SW Scholls Ferry Rd, Suite 103, Portland, Oregon 97225). Call 503.242.0900 to RSVP today!

If that video didn’t convince you to go, this one will…

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NEW REPORT – Economic Freedom: A No Regrets Strategy for Reducing Global Energy Consumption

Todd Wynn
Economic Freedom: A No Regrets Strategy for Reducing Global Energy Consumption

A new report from Todd Wynn of Cascade Policy Institute

Summary:

This empirical study exposes a relationship between greenhouse gas intensity, energy intensity and economic freedom. The level of a country’s economic freedom is a statistically significant and negative determinant of both energy intensity and greenhouse gas intensity. Countries with higher levels of economic freedom not only have more energy efficient and less carbon intensive economies, but over time these countries continue to decrease the amount of energy used and the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of production. The merits of free markets and economic prosperity should not be overlooked as a potential method for reducing carbon emissions.

Download the Full Report

Todd talks about the report:

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The Climate Swindle

Todd Wynn
Cascade Commentary

By Todd Wynn

Download Full Commentary in PDF

Are you worried about your carbon footprint hurting the earth? Don’t worry. Now climate doomsayers can sleep easy at night. For a fee a carbon offset provider will gladly funnel your money into earth friendly projects aimed to reduce greenhouse gases, such as planting trees in Ecuador or supporting a wind farm in Texas. But are carbon offset providers really delivering what they claim? Studies of international carbon offset schemes have revealed examples of widespread fraud and abuse. And now, investigations into two of the most prominent carbon offset providers in the U.S. have revealed that neither of them actually offers real reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

(more…)

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The Climate Swindle

Todd Wynn
Summary: Carbon offsetting has spread quickly in the past few years, fueled by worries of human induced climate change. The newfound popularity of carbon offsets warrants a closer examination of their legitimacy. Studies of some carbon offset schemes have revealed examples of fraud and abuse. These examples caution against the use of offsets for regulatory compliance.

This report offers an in-depth look into one of the most prominent carbon offset marketers in the United States, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF). The audit casts serious doubt on whether carbon offsets will ever be a product that can be verifiable and additional. The problems that plague the carbon offset concept will most likely never be solved, meaning that the offset mechanism will always be questionable in delivering real verifiable reductions in greenhouse gases.

Download the Full Report

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Cascade featured on KATU

Todd Wynn of Cascade Policy Institute was featured in a recent story on KATU titled “Wind power’s dirty secret: It has a carbon footprint“. You can view the video by going here.

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Global Warming Conference Heats Up in May 2010

CHICAGO, IL USA – What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time, global warming “skeptics” were dismissed as being a fringe group of dissenters from “the overwhelming consensus” of scientific opinion. Now, their critics are admitting that the science is far from settled and that global warming is not the crisis it was once made out to be. (more…)

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Renewable Energy Costs for All

Todd Wynn
QuickPoint!

Renewable Energy Costs for All
By Todd Wynn

Portland General Electric (PGE) customers may have noticed something new on their bills recently. Last month, a “renewable resource adjustment” was added to electricity bills to pay for additional renewable resources like wind power. Even if you are not enrolled in the Green Power Program, all PGE customers are forced to pay for renewable energy. According to PGE, ratepayers can thank their legislators for this added electricity cost.

(more…)

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Increased Costs Are Blowin’ in the Wind

Todd Wynn
Cascade Commentary

by Todd Wynn and Eric Lowe

Increased Costs Are Blowin’ in the Wind

Summary: Wind energy on the Pacific Northwest’s electricity grid has increased substantially. Often overlooked are the impacts of increasing wind generation on the reliability and affordability of electricity that very well might outweigh any of the promised environmental benefits.

Download the .pdf here, or click through the break to read the commentary.

(more…)

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Business Energy Tax Credit

Todd Wynn
QuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint 1-27-10.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

The Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) has come under fire from Oregonians as the costs of the program have ballooned beyond anyone’s expectations. The program, originally designed to jumpstart the renewable energy industry, hands out millions in tax breaks to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Although there is a push for reforming and limiting the program, some important lessons learned from the BETC can be applied to other sectors of the Oregon economy.

On one hand, the BETC program has been enormously successful. Due to the clear benefit of reducing state tax liabilities, the program has grown substantially over time, totaling more than $130 million in 2009 alone. This led to an expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across the state and even to modest job growth in this sector. This should be an example of how reducing taxes can increase economic growth and create jobs. (more…)

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Paying a “Climate Debt”? Plans for Global Wealth Redistribution

Todd Wynn
QuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint 12-23-09.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

This month, Senator John Kerry introduced the International Climate Change Investment Act of 2009, which is intended to “fund efforts to reduce deforestation, deploy clean energy technologies, and increase adaptation capacity in developing countries.” In addition, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the United States would contribute to a climate change fund amounting to $100 billion a year by 2020. Apparently based on dubious assumptions of higher global temperatures by 2100, politicians on the federal level are aiming to hand over a significant sum of money from hard-working Americans to developing countries. (more…)

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Climate Change Alarmists in Hot Water

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

Click here to read the full report in PDF format

Summary: We are told that the earth is the hottest it has been in thousands of years and humans are to blame. But what if the science behind climate change was exaggerated? What if temperature records have been manipulated or cherry-picked? What if climate scientists are unsure about past temperature history? It appears that this is the case. (more…)

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When Good Companies Go Alarmist

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint 11-11-09.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

Several corporations recently cancelled their membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over differing views on cap-and-trade legislation. The Chamber of Commerce wants to pursue a rational debate over the direction the nation should take on climate change legislation. Corporations like Nike, Apple and Exelon subsequently left the Chamber of Commerce for a number of reasons. “Saving the planet” is probably not one of them. (more…)

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Hazy Implications of Cap-and-Trade

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint 10-28-09.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

Despite the uncertainty involved with future climate predictions, the federal government is now poised to pass a cap-and-trade program that will attempt to reduce human-emitted greenhouse gases. Because a cap-and-trade program is essentially an energy tax, the program would have an enormous effect on Americans by increasing the costs of almost everything that is needed or desired in our daily lives. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans do not have a clue about what a cap-and-trade program actually is and thus are unable to voice their possible concerns.

(more…)

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Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) HearingReport on Performance of the Oregon Climate TrustTestimony by Todd WynnSeptember 11, 2009

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

Regulatory Issues

I.   The purpose of HB 3283 is not being met and the EFSC monetary offset rate is not being followed.

The purpose of HB 3283 is to regulate and reduce CO2 emissions from regulated facilities by implementing carbon offset projects .
The Climate Trust has never adhered to the monetary offset rate established by the Energy Facility Siting Council, and this has led to a major shortfall in offsets that were paid for by regulated facilities.
The Climate Trust claims that the monetary offset does not provide sufficient funding to offset the amount in excess of the standard. This means HB 3283 and The Climate Trust are not offsetting the carbon dioxide that is required to be offset and is thus failing to meet the intent of HB 3283.
The Climate Trust claims the amount of carbon dioxide in excess of the standard is not being fully offset for two reasons :
1. 20% of the funds received are set aside for the costs of “monitoring, evaluation, administration, and the enforcement of contracts to implement offsets.”
2. “The monetary path rate has not kept pace with market prices”
Click here to read the full report in PDF format

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Wind Farms Can’t Take the Heat

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

Temperatures soared in Oregon last week and, with the extreme temperatures, energy use soared as well. A recent Oregonian article pointed out a serious issue of how relying on wind energy affects electricity grid stability in the Pacific Northwest especially during times of extreme hot or cold temperatures. But the reliability of the grid and the ability of utilities to meet demand are being constrained by government policy. Oregon utilities are overinvesting in unreliable and inconsistent power sources like wind farms in order to meet renewable portfolio standards, and this overreliance could lead to brownouts and blackouts in the future. (more…)

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Federal Climate Bill Will Intensify Oregon’s Recession

Cascade CommentaryTodd Wynn

Click here to read the full report in PDF format

Summary: Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 2454, known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 or the Waxman-Markey bill. If also passed by the Senate and signed by the President, the bill would implement a federal cap-and-trade program. Advocates of the bill have proclaimed that it will be an opportunity to create a new clean energy sector that will be a boon to the United States’ weakened economy. Unfortunately, this isn’t true.
(more…)

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Global Warming? No! It Is Now Called Climate Change

QuickPoint!Todd Wynn

[audio:QuickPoint 6-17-09.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

Global warming used to be the defining term to represent the increase in the average temperature of the earth during the past 100 years. Recently, the more politically popular term, climate change, has replaced global warming. Why? One main reason is because the earth is currently cooling.
(more…)

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Oregon’s Little Carbon FootprintBy Todd Wynn

QuickPoint!Todd Wynn

[audio:QuickPoint 6-10-09.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

The threat of human-induced climate change is driving public policy towards attempting to reduce human emissions in the state. It is important to put Oregon’s “carbon footprint” into perspective in order to understand that state emission reduction policies make no economic or environmental sense. (more…)

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Update on the status of SB80The Oregon version of a cap-and-trade program

Senate bill 80 has been referred to the Ways and Means committee and subsequently assigned to the subcommittee on Natural Resources.

The bill is not defeated but it is a far cry from the original economy-killing bill that was first drafted and it no longer contains any provisions for Oregon implement a cap-and-trade program.

[audio:senboquistonSB80.mp3]

Click the play button to hear Senator Boquist acknowledge Cascade Policy Institute’s Climate Change analyst, Todd Wynn, for his hard work toward defeating this bill.

Todd Wynn

To hear Todd’s original testimony on February 5 before the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources click here and go to 3:21:05-3:23:15 and 3:34:11-3:37:18 on the audio file.

Click here to read Todd’s original testimony.

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Todd Wynn Testimony for House Joint Resolution 48, Committee on RevenueMay 28, 2009

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

Listen to Todd’s testimony on this audio file
at 1:30:01-1:33:34 and response from Representative Bailey at 1:35:38-1:38:48.

HJR 48 would propose an amendment to the Oregon Constitution allowing the Legislative Assembly to impose taxes on carbon emissions for the purpose of funding reductions in carbon emissions and carbon fuel use. HJR 48 would refer the proposed amendment to the people for their approval or rejection at the next regular general election.

This bill is entirely unnecessary and could impose significant costs on Oregonians while providing no environmental benefit. (more…)

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Green Jobs to the Rescue?

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

[audio:QP – 4-29-09.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

Last month, Oregon became the state with the fastest growing unemployment rate, adding another 1.4% to the currently unemployed and becoming the state with the second highest unemployment rate at 12.1%. Because of the dismal economic climate, it is tempting for Oregonians to support a policy that promises to add new “green” jobs. Unfortunately, a policy that specifically tries to increase job growth in a highly subsidized sector of the economy may do more harm than good. (more…)

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Testimony for House Bill 3300House Sustainability and Economic Development Committee

Cascade Commentary

Background

House Bill 3300 instructs the State Workforce Investment Board to develop a plan to promote the growth of green jobs. The bill also requires the Economic and Community Development Department to develop criteria for and make recommendations about promoting green industries, technology, and innovation.

Listen to Todd’s testimony at 1:25:26-1:27:47 on this audio file.

(more…)

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Testimony for House Bill 3155House Environment and Water Committee

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

Background

House Bill 3155 will require consumer-owned utilities (COU) to establish local conservation, energy efficiency programs, and carbon reduction or avoidance programs within the utility’s service territory. (more…)

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Testimony for Senate Bill 80-3Senate Environment and Natural Resources CommitteeApril 14, 2009

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

Click here to read the full report in PDF format

Senate Bill 80 Amendments

Senate Bill 80 (Oregon’s cap-and-trade bill) has been amended significantly since it was first introduced in the session. The bill no longer includes the ‘trade’ part of the cap-and-trade program. SB 80-3 is seemingly a hard cap bill meaning all facilities that emit greenhouse gases (GHGs) and fall under regulation are mandated to develop a GHG reduction plan to meet the state’s reduction goals.
(more…)

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Market Intervention Overkill

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

Click here to read the full report in PDF format

Summary: Many bills have been introduced in the 2009 legislative session to promote renewable power in Oregon. Although subsidies already exist, new incentives are being proposed to use more renewable power and to value the “clean” energy it produces. Despite these subsidies, solar and wind power still generate only a small fraction of the state’s energy; and the cost of renewable power remains significantly higher than traditional energy sources. (more…)

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Economic Development: The Effective Answer to Climate Change

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

[audio:QP31809.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

Although global temperatures have only increased a mere 0.6 degrees Celsius (1.1 degrees Fahrenheit) in the past century, unproven computer-generated scenarios of drastic events such as rising sea levels, food shortages, spread of disease, and economic turmoil due to global warming have overwhelmed politicians and citizens alike. (more…)

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Cap-and-Trade in Oregon: A Primer for Legislators and Citizens

Todd Wynn

Introduction

Climate change, and how to deal with it, is literally one of the hottest topics in state and national public policy. Because astonishing news sells, media coverage on climate change focuses on exaggerated claims of future catastrophe and proposes economically devastating “solutions” that may have no effect on global climate at all. (more…)

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Cap-and-Trade’sTrue Ability to Curb Global WarmingIs Not So Hot

Todd Wynn

Summary: The decision to regulate greenhouse gases is based on the premise that reducing human-emitted greenhouse gases will turn down the global thermostat and mitigate the damages associated with global warming. Although ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals are well established for Oregon, there has not been a serious discussion about the possible measurable benefits that would arise from pursuing these goals.
Click here to read the full report in PDF format

(more…)

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Karma Neutral: We do good deeds, so you don’t have to!

If they can do it with carbon, why can’t we do it with karma?

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SB 168: Allows State Agencies to Open Facilities for the Generation of Electricity

Todd Wynn
Testimony for Senate Bill 168
Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee
Todd Wynn
February 12, 2009

Senate Bill 168 allows state agencies to construct and operate facilities for the generation of electricity and allows certain agencies to purchase renewable energy certificates.

Although seemingly harmless, this bill has vast implications and could significantly increase the cost of energy for state agencies. (more…)

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Money for Nothing: The Illusion of Carbon Offsets

Todd Wynn

Because cap-and-trade programs and other wide-ranging carbon emission reduction strategies rely heavily on offsets to reduce compliance costs, Cascade Policy Institute audited the leading offset provider in Oregon, the Climate Trust. This report takes a close look into the Climate Trust’s offset portfolio and shows that numerous problems undermine the quality and true effectiveness of the organization’s purpose.

Click here to read the full report in PDF format

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Testimony for SB80: Implementing a Cap-and-Trade Program in Oregon

Todd Wynn
Testimony for Senate Bill 80
Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee
Todd Wynn
February 5, 2009

Senate Bill 80 directs the Environmental Quality Commission to adopt by rule a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. The Oregon version of a cap-and-trade program would be one part of the Western Climate Initiative’s (WCI) regional cap-and-trade program.

There are many problems with implementing a cap-and-trade program in Oregon, but the main issue is that it would create excessive economic burdens and provide little or no environmental benefit. A cap-and-trade program for the state is truly an “all pain, no gain” strategy. (more…)

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Testimony for SB76: Regarding the Removal of the Klamath Dams

Todd Wynn
Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee
Senate Bill 76: Regarding the Removal of the Klamath Dams
Hearing is February 3 at 3 pm

Testimony for Senate Bill 76
Todd Wynn
February 3, 2009

 My name is Todd Wynn, and I am Cascade Policy Institute’s climate change and energy policy analyst. Cascade Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization that focuses on state and local issues in Oregon and has been active in the state since 1991. My research focuses entirely on Oregon public policy that involves energy, climate change and environmentally related issues. (more…)

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Public Opinion Polls Express Doubt about Global Warming

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

[audio:QP020409.mp3]

Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

With a new president and a fresh batch of state senators and representatives in Salem, there is a lot of discussion on what to do about global warming. Because state and national public policy is overly focused on reducing greenhouse gases for the sake of “saving” the climate, a couple of national polls have been released assessing public opinion on the topic of global warming. It turns out that addressing global warming with public policy is not a top priority. (more…)

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Oregon’s Carbon Offset Scam

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

Click here to read this Commentary in PDF format

Summary

Because cap-and-trade programs and other wide-ranging reduction strategies rely heavily on offsets to reduce compliance costs, Cascade Policy Institute audited the leading offset provider in Oregon, the Climate Trust. The report, Money for Nothing: The Illusion of Carbon Offsets, takes a close look into the Climate Trust’s offset portfolio and shows that numerous problems undermine the quality and true effectiveness of the organization’s purpose. (more…)

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SB79: Requiring Energy Performance Certificates and Increased Building Efficiency Codes

Todd Wynn

January 22, 2009

Testimony before the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on Senate Bill 79, Requiring Energy Performance Certificates and Increased Building Efficiency Codes

Todd Wynn
Climate Change and Energy Policy Analyst, Cascade Policy Institute (more…)

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Oregon Greenhouse Gas Reduction Policies:The Economic and Fiscal Impact Challenges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Todd Wynn
Tel.: 503-242-0900
Fax: 503-242-3822
E-mail: todd@cascadepolicy.org

Cascade Policy Institute has released a detailed economic analysis of the challenges of achieving Oregon’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. Oregon Greenhouse Gas Reduction Policies: The Economic and Fiscal Impact Challenges discusses the current goals in place and the possible effects of instituting the Western Climate Initiative’s (WCI) cap-and-trade program to help reach those goals.

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Governor’s Global Warming “Solution” Would Cut Economic Growth in Half

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

Policymakers in Oregon have concluded that global warming is a crisis, that the use of fossil fuels is the primary cause of warming, and that state policies must be enacted to stabilize the global climate. Because of this, Oregon has adopted one of the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals in the world. Wide-ranging policy initiatives are being planned that will have large negative impacts on Oregon’s economy and standard of living.

In October 2008, Governor Kulongoski announced (more…)

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The Severe Economic Costs of Cap-and-Trade in Oregon

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

Summary

Greenhouse gas reduction strategies should strike a balance between economic costs of regulation and the benefits of mitigating costs that future climate change could impose. Unfortunately, the projections of future climate change are highly uncertain, and thus the estimated costs or benefits of not acting are highly suspect. Implementing a cap-and-trade program in Oregon would create economic burdens and provide little or no environmental benefit. (more…)

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Renewable Energy by Choice, Not Force

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

Summary

Existing voluntary green power programs can increase renewable energy generation without forcing unnecessary costs on the entire population. Just as with organic food, customers who value green power can purchase it. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 838 mandates utilities to provide renewable power that 98% of Oregonians currently choose not to purchase. (more…)

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Wind Power: The “Green” Myth

Todd Wynn
Cascade Commentary

Summary

Wind power is touted as a “green” solution to Oregon?s increasing energy demand. However, as a power source, wind is inconsistent and intermittent, requiring inefficient and costly backup sources. In addition, various negative environmental externalities make wind power far from “environmentally friendly.” (more…)

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Nuclear Power Can Help Oregon Meet Its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

On October 27, 2008, Governor Ted Kulongoski announced his Climate Change Agenda to aggressively mitigate the impacts of global warming and put Oregon on track to achieve his goals of reducing greenhouse gas levels. These goals will be hard to reach without having an energy source that can meet upcoming energy demand and produce emission-free electricity. Nuclear could be that energy source.

Energy consumption in Oregon has (more…)

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Hey Buddy, Can You Spare a Charge?

Todd Wynn
Cascade Commentary

Summary

Advocates of plug-in vehicles profess that they will reduce air pollution, dependence on foreign oil and greenhouse gases. But while plug-ins may be good for the environment, the subsidies and tax credits attempting to jumpstart the adoption of the electric car are misguided, unnecessary, and even unjust. (more…)

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Let the Free Market Decide When Oregon Is Ready for More Wind Power

Todd Wynn
Cascade Commentary

Summary

Wind power advocates claim that wind power is a cost effective source of energy. This is true at present only with market distortions caused by state and federal governments. Instead of imposing renewable energy technologies on consumers ahead of their time, let supply and demand guide their development and adoption by consumers. (more…)

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Freedom and the Expansion of the EPA

QuickPoint!

In April 2007, the Supreme Court concluded that greenhouse gases (GHGs) meet the Clean Air Act’s definition of an air pollutant. Therefore, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been given authority to regulate all GHGs, including carbon dioxide from new motor vehicles. This decision may have profound effects on personal freedom in the United States.

The Clean Air Act did not authorize mandatory regulations to address global climate change, and (more…)

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Why Energy Efficiency Doesn’t Always Reduce Greenhouse Gases

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Economists know that energy consumption is directly related to energy prices. As energy prices rise, consumption declines. Energy efficiency upgrades will not help Oregon reach its greenhouse gas reduction goals because increases in energy efficiency lower energy prices, resulting in more consumption for the same price. (more…)

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Al Gore’s Impossible Plan For 100% Renewable Energy

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Gore has challenged the nation to rely on 100% renewable energy sources within 10 years. Not only would this be one of the most capital-intensive construction projects in human history, but the plan is logistically unachievable and would not have any effect on global climate. (more…)

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Western Climate Initiative Offers No Definable Benefit

QuickPoint!

If you haven’t heard of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) yet, you soon will. WCI is a collaboration launched in 2007 by the governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington that now also includes Utah, Montana and parts of Canada. WCI’s stated purpose is to develop a regional strategy to address climate change. The strategy is to force costly greenhouse gas reductions that may not address global warming at all.

WCI is designing a cap and trade regulatory policy which (more…)

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C-Tran’s New Hybrid Buses: When Going “Green” Costs Lots of Green!

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Clark County’s new hybrid buses are costing lots of green for local taxpayers. The hybrids offer neither significant fuel efficiency gains nor significant emissions reductions but cost about 45% more. Over the lifetime of the buses, taxpayers will pay an additional $4.7 million dollars without any environmental benefit. (more…)

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