Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2/5 Boldt40, oil tax reform, Enbridge pipe, oil safety rules, Sally Jewell, ocean iron dump, herring

Boldt 40: a day of perspectives on the Boldt Decision
The treaty tribes in western Washington come together today to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Boldt Decision at the Squaxin Island Tribe’s Skookum Event Center. Agenda: Fine words will be spoken.

Correction: Georgia Strait Alliance alerts BC folks to make their application before February 12 to comment officially to the National Energy Board review of Kinder Morgan's proposal to expand its Trans Mountain Pipeline.  The clock is ticking- apply to take part in the Kinder Morgan hearings today

What Would Repealing an Accidental Tax Break Cost Oil Refineries?
Facing a Supreme Court order to fund public education, Governor Inslee and others have combed through the state tax code in search of outdated and perverse tax loopholes. Perhaps none of them is more bizarre than the “extracted fuel use tax exemption”—a purely accidental giveaway to oil refineries that costs the state $59 million each budget cycle. Oil companies are stalling to prevent paying the same taxes everyone else does, even though the cost of closing the loophole would represent only a tiny fraction—less than 1 percent—of their overall costs. Eric de Place reports.

Enbridge confident of Northern Gateway approval
Enbridge is so confident of a favourable decision by the federal government that it is already preparing to launch a procurement process for the Northern Gateway pipeline project. A Joint Review Panel recommended approval of the 1,200-kilometre project in mid-December, saying it would be in the best interest of Canadians. The federal cabinet has 180 days from the time it receives the report to make a final decision. Since the JRP announced its findings, the pipeline has come under increased attack, with several environmental groups and First Nations filing applications in Federal Court calling for a judicial review. Mark Hume reports.

Oil-by-rail regulations bill clears first House hurdle; Senate weighs study
Lawmakers in the House and Senate both agree more study is needed to counteract the growing public safety risk posed by increasing shipments of oil by rail tanker cars and marine waters. But the chambers are moving along quite different tracks to deal with a risk that is still hard to quantify. The House Environment Committee voted 8-to-5 along party lines Tuesday to approve Substitute House Bill 2347, which gives the Department of Ecology new rule-making authority to decide on tug escort requirements for shippers in Grays Harbor and along the Columbia River.  The measure from Democratic Rep. Jessyn Farrell of Seattle also requires oil refineries and recipients of shipments of oil to report quarterly to Ecology on oil shipments by railroad. But the measure was amended to ensure that data kept by Ecology is not released publicly in a way that identifies an individual refinery.... The Senate, meanwhile, heard a bill Tuesday from Republican Sen. Doug Ericksen of Ferndale that would require more study of the safety of shipping oil and hazardous materials over land routes as well over water routes. SB 6524 also would put $10 million toward the effort, which Ecology would be asked to complete by year’s end - a timeline that one agency manager said will be difficult. Brad Shannon reports. And: Safer oil trains: Legislature on collision course with itself  And: Crude Oil Train Oversight Divides Washington Legislature

Secretary Of The Interior Tours Mount Rainier
Hot on the heels of President Obama’s latest state of the union address, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, came home to Washington to meet with scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service. But this wasn’t your usual boardroom PowerPoint session. The group snowshoed out to a snowy overlook to check out the Nisqually Glacier. That’s the source of the Nisqually River, which drains from the slopes of Mount Rainier out into Puget Sound. Ashley Ahearn reports. And: Jewell Visits Mount Rainier, Discusses Climate Change At UW Roundtable

Haida Gwaii ocean iron dump investigation to proceed
The lawyer for a company that conducted a controversial experiment in ocean fertilization to boost salmon populations off B.C.'s north coast maintains his clients have not violated any Canadian laws. In 2012, the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation dumped about 100 tonnes of iron-rich dust into the ocean about 300 kilometres west of the islands of Haida Gwaii on B.C.'s West Coast. The corporation's lawyer Jay Straith said studies are underway to find out if the experiment worked, but the company has already seen encouraging signs.

Herring off Vancouver Island attract flocks of tourists
The annual herring spawn off Vancouver Island, which provides a feast for sea lions, migratory birds and many other marine species, is attracting a whole different species: tourists. After last year’s successful boat tours, the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association is again selling the March spawn as a tourist attraction. This year, Deep Bay marine field station plans to run two three-hour boat excursions out of Union Bay on Sunday, March 2. The tours will take in not only the spawn, where the water turns milky blue, but also cruise by sea lions, Brant geese and other wildlife that converge for the feast. Sandra McCulloch reports.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST WED FEB 5 2014
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PST TODAY
 SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON PST TODAY THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON
TODAY
E WIND 25 TO 35 KT...BECOMING 20 TO 30 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 4 TO 5 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF
 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
E WIND 25 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 4 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 13 SECONDS.

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