In 2020, Jay Inslee ran a quixotic single issue campaign for president (on the dime of Washington taxpayers) that never got off the ground, dropping out before Iowa, singularly focusing on climate change and his record as governor of Washington in fighting it. After Biden’s election, speculation swirled around whether he’d resign as governor of Washington to become the head of the DOE or EPA.

Inslee’s record as governor of Washington State tells a very different story from the rosy reputation he sold in his stump speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire. …


A plurality (38%) of American electrical consumption is residential, surpassing both the commercial (37%) and industrial sectors (25%). While industry and business have incentives to reduce electricity usage to improve their balance sheets, individual renters and homeowners often lack the incentives or ability to address their high energy costs, resulting in impoverishment of the poor and job losses.

The Split Incentive and Energy Poverty

Roughly 34% of all American households rent. Landlords typically pay for heavy energy use appliances such as refrigerators and hot water heaters, even as renters are responsible for electricity costs, the logic being that tenant consumption…


Oregon’s 2020 election can’t be easily summarized in a single sentence. No “Blue Wave” swept Republicans out of previously safe legislative seats, and no “Red Wave” produced significant GOP gains. While radical reforms to drug policy passed statewide, there was no broader left wing shift downballot.

On paper, the election was static. No net Senate seat change, R+1 in the 60 seat state House. First GOP net pickup in the State House in a decade.

Anti-climactic after two straight Republican legislative walkouts that garnered national attention, apocalyptic wildfires that burned over a million acres over Labor Day Weekend, a once…


In recent years, the usage of land trusts and conservation easements as tools for land protection have grown massively. Free market organizations have touted them as a non-coercive and non-regulatory approach to land protection that protects private property rights while achieving environmental targets.

A conservation easement is the sale or donation of a land’s development rights to a third party organization that extinguishes said development rights in perpetuity. Third party nonprofits that acquire conservation easements or outright purchase land in fee simple to protect from development are known as land trusts.

Conservation easements have been used as a tool to…


I was born and raised in Oregon. Whenever my family traveled out of state, I was never the one pumping gas. It wasn’t until I was 20 years old in a summer internship in Washington State that I pumped gas for the first time. It was slow, awkward, and my boss had to teach me. I mentioned the experience to an LA Times reporter and ended up being quoted in a story.

The law remains an oddity, with New Jersey being the only other state that continues to ban self-service. Oregon’s ban on self-serve gas has been on the books…


Where to start on the 2018 disaster for the Oregon GOP? Not only did their gubernatorial candidate riding a wave of newspaper endorsements and money from Phil Knight, lose to a scandal ridden incumbent by over six percentage points, nearly the same margin as their first time candidate 2016 nominee, but Republicans lost three House seats, placing them well below the super-minority threshold.


Oregon House District 23 is one of the most conservative legislative districts in Oregon. A sprawling, entirely rural district, it snakes alongside the West side of the Willamette Valley and Coast Range, bordering but never touching the towns of Corvallis, Monmouth, Sheridan, McMinnville, Salem and Junction City. The largest town in the district is Dallas, Oregon, population 14,000. The second largest is Amity, population 1,600. The rest of the scarecrow shaped district is comprised of unincorporated areas and under 1,000 person hamlets.

With an older electorate, a high voter turnout rate, entirely rural makeup, and the fourth highest number…


“blue and white coupe park near blue and brown building on a busy street” by Augustin de Montesquiou on Unsplash

Between 1989 and 1991, the USSR’s aid to Cuba evaporated as the empire crumbled. For the past several decades, Cuba had traded sugarcane to the USSR in exchange for oil at a subsidized rate. The USSR provided Cuba with so much oil that Cuba resold the excess oil at a profit to nearby nations. The loss of oil subsidies resulted in a significant economic crisis that resulted in a one third GDP contraction, economic restructuring, and even political protests against the government. That period has since earned the moniker the “Special Period.”

During the Special Period, oil imports into Cuba…


(NOTE: This analysis was a final conducted for a cost-benefit analysis class that emphasized non-market valuation. The following is a hypothetical analysis, not intended to reflect any specific site in particular.)

Energy markets in the United States are transforming. Coal fired electricity generation facilities are facing increased regulatory scrutiny from local, state, and federal governments. Additionally, the fracking boom in the US has caused a drop in natural gas prices, making natural gas cost competitive than coal for electricity generation. As a result, the percentage of electrical generation in the US from coal has fallen from 50% in 2008 to…


The provision of the TPP that yielded the strongest opposition from activists during the public debate over the agreement in 2015–16 was its provision regarding ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement). Even people who should have known better latched onto the hysteria, including Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who wrote in a May 2015 Marketwatch column that the TPP was nothing short of a corporate takeover, allowing corporations to “overturn regulations” through ISDS lawsuits.

The premise of activist fear of the ISDS clause was this: Corporations would be allowed to sue nations for “takings” as the result of regulatory actions to…

Andrew Damitio

Environmental Economics and Policy alum of Oregon State University

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