Sightline Institute Programs
Champion smart solutions
Sightline focuses on policies that can bring long-term prosperity to the region. And we work with our allies in the sustainability community to help bring those ideas to fruition. Whether it’s helping to determine an equitable way to price carbon; promoting the benefits of “low-impact” development to reduce damage from polluted stormwater; or in identifying and advocating for the removal of outdated regulations to allow sustainable solutions to flourish, Sightline believes that ideas have consequences, and that “the truth, well told” speeds progress toward responsible stewardship.
Inform our region’s leaders and citizens
Our in-depth research reports, regular blog commentary and analysis, and daily news digest keep Northwest leaders on top of their game. Sightline staff conduct economic analyses, sort through dizzying data sets, and weigh policy proposals in terms of environmental and social impact, as well as translate our analysis into language and stories that everyone can use to advance smart solutions that will benefit all northwesterners.
Empower citizens and decision-makers
Sightline provides communication tools that social change-makers need to put sustainability theory into practice and convert scientific findings into clear language and policy that resonates with social values. We help our allies in the sustainability movement distill complicated issues and find the best ways to talk about these issues in our communities.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In 2012, Sightline continued to navigate public policy debates around climate and clean energy in the Northwest. We focused specifically on issues of climate policy, energy efficiency, and protecting our environment from toxics: including coal power, coal exports, and polluted stormwater runoff.
By digging deeply into the issues and building on our solid reputation for providing smart solutions, Sightline has been able to increase our efforts to support advocates, policymakers, and the media—providing the analysis and communications tools they need to advance sustainability policies and promote healthy communities.
An example of how our work impacts the shape of a debate:
Last year, Sightline published an analysis of the traffic congestion that proposed coal trains would cause in Seattle. We identified specific streets that would be blocked by coal trains and calculated delay times at intersections. That analysis sent waves through the city’s manufacturing sector and it prompted the mayor’s office to commission a detailed study of the issue. The mayor’s study confirmed Sightline’s findings almost exactly: coal trains would shut down eight major streets by 1 to 3 hours a day, 365 days a year. Within a day, the study results had been reported on by the Seattle Times, The Stranger, NPR, the AP, every TV news station in Seattle, and numerous other outlets.
This research helped further educate the public on the potential impacts of coal export facilities on our communities and provided critical fuel for the coalition working to stop them from being built.