Friday, December 4, 2015

12/4 Treaty rights & coal, carbon tax, BC pipe, Shell smell, Gorge Cr, mine justice

(PHOTO: Teddy Llovet/BirdNote)
Partial Migration — Killdeer Play Leap Frog
The cries of a Killdeer are familiar across most of the US during spring and summer. But where do they go in winter? Killdeer that breed in the southern half of the US and along the Pacific Coast are year-round residents. But those that breed in the northern US and Canada, where winter conditions are more severe, migrate south to Mexico and Central America. Because the northern Killdeer fly south — right over the region where other Killdeer reside year-round — they are known as leap-frog migrants. (BirdNote)

House vote stops coastal Indians from blocking port for Montana coal
Plans for a controversial port in Puget Sound for Montana coal will advance under a House rider preventing coastal Indians from stopping the project. House lawmakers lead by Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., voted to keep the permitting process going for the Gateway Pacific Terminal near Bellingham, Wash. The Lummi Nation, which has fishing waters next to Cherry Point, had asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to abandon its review of the port proposal. The Lummi argued that its treaty rights would be violated by the terminal. However, Montana’s Crow Tribe made a counter argument that its treaty rights to profit from coal mined on land in the southeastern part of the state were in danger if the port plans were killed. The Crow have coal to ship and a stake in the Gateway Pacific Terminal. Tom Lutey reports. (Billings Gazette) Sea also: Northwest tribes fear corporate interests trump treaty rights Grace Toohey reports. (McClatchy)

Carbon Tax Measure Will Make The Washington Ballot, Backers Say
A voter initiative that would put a tax on carbon emissions has gathered enough signatures to put it on the ballot in 2016. The measure would impose a tax of $25 for every ton of carbon emitted when fossil fuels are burned. Backers of the measure say that will increase some consumer prices, like what people pay for gasoline. The measure also calls for carbon tax’s revenue to be used to lower the state sales tax, effectively eliminate the B&O tax on manufacturers and to provide rebates to lower income households. Carbon Washington, the group behind the carbon tax, says it has gathered more than 330,000 signatures from Washington voters. If validated, the initiative will go to the state legislature in January. The legislature could adopt the initiative as is, or it will go to the voters in 2016. Ashley Ahearn reports. (EarthFix)

Enbridge to decide next year on Northern Gateway pipeline
Enbridge's CEO says a decision on whether to build the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline across British Columbia may come in late 2016, though the company is not concerned with sticking to a certain timeline. Al Monaco also says a ban on tanker traffic along B.C.'s north coast, made official by the new Trudeau Liberal government last month, does not mean Enbridge is giving up — even though many critics have said the ban effectively kills the project. Lauren Krugel reports. (Canadian Press)

Shell to appeal penalty for odor incident
The Shell Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes plans to appeal its $77,000 penalty for a Feb. 20 incident that reportedly sent toxins airborne, spokesman Cory Ertel said. The deadline for the appeal is Tuesday. Aaron Weinberg reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Leak unlikely to blame for Gorge Creek spill, engineer says
The flow of an unknown substance into Gorge Creek has tapered off, suggesting that it likely came from something being dumped into the system, rather than a leaky tank, says Esquimalt’s head of public works. Testing is underway but it is still not known what the substance is, other than some sort of petrochemical, said Jeff Miller, Esquimalt’s director of engineering and public works. Esquimalt workers noticed the spill, near the foot of Sioux Place and Kinsmen Gorge Park, on Monday morning. Jeff Bell reports. (Times Colonist)

Former Coal CEO Blankenship Found Guilty Of Conspiracy In Mine Disaster Case
More than two weeks after they received the case, the jury in the trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has delivered a mixed verdict in the case, finding Blankenship guilty of “conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards, a misdemeanor charge that carries up to a year of jail time,” as West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports.Blankenship was acquitted of two counts of making false statements, meaning he’ll now face far less than the potential 30-year prison term prosecutors sought over the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine, which killed 29 miners. Bill Chappell reports. (NPR)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 209 AM PST FRI DEC 4 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING
TODAY
S WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 11 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
 SHOWERS LIKELY.
TONIGHT
S WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SE 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 12 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
SE WIND 20 TO 30 KT...EASING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 11 SECONDS...BUILDING TO SW 13 FT AT 11 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. RAIN.
SAT NIGHT
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING SE 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. SW SWELL 16 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
SUN
S WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SE TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 13 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
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