Thursday, April 17, 2014

4/17 Matt Steuerwalt, carbon exports, tar sands shipping, BC monitoring, water festival, welcome whales

Osage County coal mining
Gov. Jay Inslee hires coal lobbyist to direct his policy office
Gov. Jay Inslee has hired a coal lobbyist to direct his policy office, an eyebrow-raising selection for a governor who has insisted on sweeping scrutiny of coal export terminals proposed at Cherry Point, north of Bellingham, and along the Columbia River at Longview. The new appointee is Matt Steuerwalt, who has been through the revolving door in recent years. He was a top energy/climate adviser to then-Gov. Chris Gregoire, then went to work for the Seattle-based Strategies 360 group. At Strategies 360, he represented TransAlta, the Canadian-based owner of the Centralia Coal plant and the state’s only coal plant and its largest greenhouse gas emitter. Joel Connelly reports. (seattlepi)

Oil, coal, gas: Export proposals are growing
The Big Energy Export Train aimed at Pacific Northwest deep-water harbors is looking to add a new cargo: liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), also known as propane and butane. The new export LPG cargo would be added to a menu that includes coal from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana; crude oil from the Bakken fields of North Dakota; and liquefied natural gas (LNG) from . . . well, you get the idea. Petrogas, a Calgary-based energy company, plans to upgrade a small export terminal at Cherry Point in Whatcom County, near a proposed coal-export terminal and two oil refineries. The facility has had several owners since 1976 and has exported a small amount of LPG to Ecuador and Asia. A Texas energy company, Sage Midstream, has announced plans for a new LPG export terminal at Longview; the site is near a proposed coal-export terminal, Millennium Bulk Products. At least two proposals for liquefied natural gas terminals are on the table in Oregon: a longstanding one at Astoria near the mouth of the Columbia and a newer one at Coos Bay on the southern Oregon Coast. The Coos Bay project would include a 232-mile-long pipeline from south-central Oregon. Floyd McKay reports. (Crosscut)

San Juans gain voice in Canada's review of tar sands shipping proposal
Letters and citizen action seeking intervenor status for San Juan County and other interested local parties has resulted in Canada's National Energy Board selecting the county and nearly a dozen local advocacy groups and individuals as either "commenter" or "intervenors" in the review process for the Kinder Morgan tar sands shipment project. The National Energy Board selected 1,650 individuals and entities to participate in the review process; 468 applications were denied. Other applicants from Washington State and San Juan County allowed to participate are San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping, Lopez NoCoalition, Orcas NoCoalition, and Friends of the San Juans, as commenters. Orca scientist and underwater hydrophone specialist Dr. Val Veirs was granted "intervenor" status in the review. (Journal of the San Juans)

B.C. falling short on environmental monitoring, ombudsman says
The B.C. government lacks oversight of an environmental regulation meant to protect the areas that border rivers, lakes and streams, says the provincial ombudsman. Kim Carter’s latest report looks at the Riparian Areas Regulation, which applies to 15 regional districts in populated areas from Vancouver Island to the Interior. “One of the important and recurring roles of government in modern society is to find an appropriate balance between two sometimes competing public interests such as development and environmental protection,” Carter said in the report released Wednesday. The flaws in monitoring and enforcement of the rules for riparian zones are “an example of what can occur when there is shared federal, provincial and local government responsibility for environmental protection.” (Globe and Mail)

Water Festival marks 20 years
Water, water and more water. If there was anything Kitsap County students learned about at the Water Festival, it was about the importance of H2O. On Tuesday, more than 1,000 students from across the peninsula scattered across the Kitsap County Fairgrounds to learn more about the precious commodity during the 20th anniversary of the event. In an effort to spread the word about the importance of water conservation, professionals from environmental and natural resources fields shared their knowledge with students from 23 schools across the county. The goal of the festival was to provide hands-on learning experiences in a fun atmosphere outside the classroom. Seraine Page reports. (Central Kitsap reporter)

Annual Langley Whale festival set for Saturday
Twelve gray whales will receive a grand welcome from whale enthusiasts in Langley this weekend. The annual Welcome the Whales Day Parade and Festival begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 19, at the Langley United Methodist Church, where attendees can learn about whales and other sea mammals through exhibits set up in Fellowship Hall. Children will have the opportunity to make whale costumes and paint their faces like whales in preparation for the second part of the event, the Welcome Parade. Grace Swanson reports. (South Whidbey Record)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU APR 17 2014
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

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