Tuesday, June 30, 2015

6/30 Jim Toomey, state budget, BC LNG ships, Colstrip, EPA mercury, plastic bag ban

(Jim Toomey/San Juan Preservation Trust)
If you like to watch: "Islands are Different" and "Shorelines: Connecting Land & Salmon"
The San Juan Preservation Trust enlisted Jim Toomey, a marine conservationist and creator of the internationally-syndicated comic strip “Sherman’s Lagoon”, to help answer the question: what does protecting land have to do with salmon? The result: two short, entertaining videos.

Legislature approves budget that cuts tuition, funds state worker raises
State lawmakers have approved a new two-year spending plan that will cut college tuition, give teachers cost-of-living raises and help satisfy a court order that the state fully fund public schools. The state Senate passed the $38.2 billion budget Monday evening on a 38-10 vote, and the state House approved the spending plan shortly afterward, 90-8. Lawmakers were racing to pass the budget to avoid a partial shutdown of state government Wednesday. The measure now goes to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee, who must sign it by the end of the day Tuesday to avoid lapses in state services and temporary layoffs of state workers. Melissa Santos and Jordan Schrader report. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Trudeau open to LNG ships on northern B.C. coast
Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said Monday his mind is closed to oil tankers plying the waters of northern B.C. but open to shipping of liquefied natural gas as well as increased oil tanker traffic through Port Metro Vancouver — on the condition proper reviews are conducted. In an interview with The Vancouver Sun, Trudeau said that the Harper Conservative government could have saved everyone a lot of time and trouble by nixing the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, emphasizing “the Great Bear Rainforest is not a place for an oil pipeline.” Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Coal plant operator says Colstrip remains profitable for now
The formation of a new company to run Montana's largest power plant has raised questions among analysts and plant detractors about how long it can keep going, as pollution control costs rise and coal's share of the electricity market crumbles. The plant's new operator has an answer: There are no plans to shut down the 2,100-megawatt Colstrip Steam Electric Station. Matthew Brown reports. (Associated Press)

Supreme Court: EPA erred in rule on toxic emissions from power plants
The Supreme Court dealt a major blow Monday to the Obama administration’s efforts to keep toxic mercury out of the nation’s air and waterways, saying U.S. officials failed to properly consider economic costs when they imposed expensive pollution controls on coal-burning power plants. The court, in a 5-to-4 decision, halted further implementation of the 2011 Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule, the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark regulation that required electric utilities to reduce mercury pollution, linked in multiple studies to respiratory illnesses as well as birth defects and developmental problems in children. The decision’s ultimate impact on pollution controls was uncertain. The justices declined to strike down the rule altogether and left open the possibility that the regulation could be altered and reinstated. Moreover, a sizable majority of the country’s coal-burning utilities already have taken steps to meet the EPA’s requirements, muting the decision’s practical effects, at least in the near term. Joby Warrick and Robert Barnes report. (Washington Post)

PAC wants to pay to put plastic bag ban on Lacey ballot
Will Lacey take the money? That’s the question facing Lacey City Council after a local group called on the council last Thursday to support their cause. The group, a political action committee called the Effective Self-Governance Association of Thurston County, is prepared to write a check to the city for $2,500 to pay to get a city plastic bag ban before voters this November. After the representative made her pitch Thursday night, Councilman Jason Hearn made a motion to accept the money and to put the issue on the fall ballot. His motion won support from Councilman Lenny Greenstein, but Mayor Andy Ryder quickly put the brakes on the discussion, saying it would be an unprecedented move for the city to take the money. Rolf Boone reports. (Olympian)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE JUN 30 2015
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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