Tuesday, May 12, 2015

5/12 Shell drill, BC LNG, carbon tax, Navy noise, fin whale, Burrard wetland, drought

Polar Pioneer ((Vincenzo Floramo/Greenpeace)
Obama administration approves Shell drilling in Arctic Ocean  
The Obama administration gave conditional approval on Monday to allow Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. to start drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean this summer. The approval is a major victory for Shell and the rest of the petroleum industry, which has sought for years to drill in the remote waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, which are believed to hold vast reserves of oil and gas. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

Oil rig Polar Pioneer to exit Port Angeles this week despite Seattle mayor’s objections, waiting protesters
The Polar Pioneer — the giant floating oil rig anchored in Port Angeles Harbor since April 17 — will be towed by tug to Seattle this week, Shell Oil Co. announced Monday. The 400-foot-long apparatus will be brought to Seattle despite a code interpretation by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and a city planning agency that a Port of Seattle terminal is not permitted to host such a rig. Chris McDaniel reports. (Peninsula Daily News) See also:  'Kayaktivists' plan protest of Shell’s oil spill response vessel in Bellingham Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

B.C. First Nations likely to reject Petronas LNG project
A hereditary chief says Lax Kw’alaams members are poised in the final round of voting to reject a $1-billion cash offer dangled by a major liquefied natural gas project, posing a setback for the venture led by Malaysia’s Petronas. Donnie Wesley of the Gitwilgyoots, one of nine allied tribes of the Lax Kw’alaams, said the tribes are united in their opposition to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project near Prince Rupert, B.C. Brent Jang reports. (Globe and Mail)

Democrats revise cap and trade bill in hopes of passage
Public schools would continue to receive the largest chunk of $1.2 billion generated from a cap and trade program in Washington under a revised proposal released Monday by House Democrats. But oil refiners and lumber mill operators also stand to receive hundreds of millions dollars as well and no money would be spent on transportation as desired by Gov. Jay Inslee. On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the proposed substitute to House Bill 1314. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate Monday. Jerry Cornfield reports. (Everett Herald)

Is noise from Navy jets a threat to Olympic National Park? Rep. Derek Kilmer wants soundings
The joys of Washington’s Olympic National Park include being put to sleep by the sound of surf, the whistle of winds at high places like Bogachiel Peak, and the swift, purposeful, near silent movement of a Roosevelt Elk herd across a meadow. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., who represents the Olympic Peninsula, wants to know if these sounds — and silences — are threatened by the U.S. Navy’s interest in using areas of the Peninsula for electronic warfare range testing, with an increased number of jets flying over pristine places. Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Dead fin whale hit by cruise ship spotted in Vancouver's harbour
The carcass of a dead fin whale has washed up in Burrard Inlet next to downtown Vancouver, and officials inspecting the young male whale said it was struck by a cruise ship. The whale was likely hit north of Vancouver Island, according to a veteran whale biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. This is the third time since the 1990s that a fin whale has been found near Vancouver after being hit by a cruise ship, said John Ford, a research scientist with the department. (CBC)

Park board proposal would restore long-lost Burrard Inlet wetland
Vancouver park board is considering turning part of the New Brighton Park foreshore into a marsh in an effort to restore wetland habitat for shorebirds, waterfowl and fish that has been lost for 50 years. Much of the Burrard Inlet wetlands vanished during the industrialization of the shoreline. New Brighton Park was developed in the 1960s and its intertidal habitat was covered over with fill. Gerry Bellett reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Water outlook worsens following fewer April showers
Through April, the state’s water supply outlook continued on a downward trend. The Skagit River, however, seems to be maintaining adequate streamflow, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service. The conservation service’s most recent report indicates about 67 percent of the agency’s snowpack monitoring sites had no snow as of May 1. Of sites monitored for 23 years or more, 77 percent of them set record lows. Snowpack across the state is at 17 percent of normal, which is a record low. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) See also: Drought Help  Cliff Mass reports. (Weather Blog)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE MAY 12 2015
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

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