Tuesday, May 17, 2016

5/17 Rail spill, BC oil pipes, BC LNG, LIDAR, Columbia salmon, drought, marine safety

Newcastle, Australia (Saeed Khan/NPR/KUOW)
PHOTOS: Protesters Around The World Target Fossil Fuel Industry
They came on kayaks and on bikes. They hunkered down in hammocks and on train tracks. They marched at refineries and did morning yoga at mines. For nearly two weeks, demonstrators on six continents gathered to protest climate change — and, in particular, the fossil fuel industry. Camila Domonoske reports. (NPR)

Railroad says Washington worst-case oil spill could cost $775 million
If an oil train derailed in Washington and dumped most of its cargo, cleanup costs could exceed $775 million, according to documents BNSF Railway Co. provided to the state. But BNSF — the largest rail shipper of crude oil to Washington refineries — declined to provide information about its insurance coverage for releases of hazardous materials. Instead, company officials referred state regulators to BNSF’s annual report, which lists 2015 revenues of $22 billion but includes a risk statement that says the cost of a catastrophic event could exceed the railroad’s insurance limits. For the first time, railroads hauling crude oil through Washington were required to report the estimated cleanup cost for a “reasonable, worst case” spill and provide insurance information and other financial assurance of their ability to cover the costs. However, the state can’t force federally regulated railroads to comply with the new rule. Becky Kramer reports. (Spokesman-Review)

Trudeau government to kick off new pipeline reviews by naming Trans Mountain panel today
The federal government will announce on Tuesday the first of its promised additional environmental reviews of two pipeline projects that are already before the National Energy Board, CBC News has learned. The new, three-member panel will look into the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipelines. It will be announced by Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr. The company wants to add a second pipeline alongside the original that was built in 1953 to carry oil from Edmonton to Burnaby. If approved, the twin lines would carry nearly 900,000 barrels of crude a day starting in 2018. Chris Hall reports. (CBC)

Canada’s environment minister wants details of B.C. climate change plan
Canada’s Environment Minister wants to see significant action by the British Columbia government to combat climate change as Ottawa mulls approval of a giant project to export liquefied natural gas from the province’s northern coast. The federal cabinet expects to make a decision on the $36-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project by late June. Backed by Malaysian giant Petronas, the LNG export terminal promises $2.5-billion in annual government tax revenue, but will generate some 5.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year – enough to boost the province’s total emissions of greenhouse gases by 8.5 per cent. That makes it the most serious test so far of the federal Liberal government’s willingness to balance its ambitious climate-change agenda with a desire to rejuvenate a moribund economy. Nathan Vanderklippe and Justine Hunter report. (Globe and Mail)

Using Lasers to Map in Glorious Detail
Hakai Institute scientists working on the Central Coast of British Columbia, from archaeologists to forest ecologists, need high-quality maps of what ecosystems cover the islands. But islands in this part of BC are covered by impassable terrain—boot-snatching bogs, impenetrable thickets of salal bushes, and shifty sand dunes. Calvert Island and its neighbor, Hecate Island, together make up an area larger than the city of Montreal. Mapping it the conventional way, on foot, would be nearly impossible. High-tech strategies, such as aerial photos, are better, but still limited. Hakai researchers have spent the last four years taking it to the next level: lasers. Josh Silberg reports. (Hakai)

Judge: Failed salmon restoration has cost billions 
It’s Groundhog Day. Again. Or maybe not. On May 3, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon trashed the federal government’s plan for managing dams on the Columbia River and its tributaries, saying it leaves threatened and endangered salmon at risk of extinction. This makes the fifth time since the Columbia’s salmon were protected under the Endangered Species Act that a federal court has tossed a biological opinion on the dams. Daniel Jack Chasan reports. (Crosscut)

Droughtlandia
When climate change causes Californians to migrate north to Oregon and Washington. Jeremy Miller reports. (Pacific Standard)

Trudeau accused of breaking promise on West Coast marine safety
Longtime Quadra Island politician Jim Abram says he heard Justin Trudeau promise one thing before the election and something else after it. Abram, vice-chair of the Strathcona Regional District, said the prime minister has broken a “face-to-face” promise he made to Abram concerning commitments to marine safety on the West Coast…. The talk with Trudeau occurred in an Edmonton restaurant last June when the Liberal leader was hosting a reception to seek support for his election campaign. Abram said there was “no doubt” that Trudeau was promising support for the ferries, marine safety and marine communications…. Critics say Liberal cuts to maritime safety include the closure of an emergency Marine Communications and Traffic centre in Comox on May 10; reducing the number of “safety” desks at the remaining Canadian Coast Guard centres in B.C. from five to four; cutting the number of supervisors and trimming the national budget for the centres from $49 million to $42  million. Kent Spencer reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Now, your tug weater--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PDT TUE MAY 17 2016  

TODAY
 W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 2 FT AT  12 SECONDS.

TONIGHT
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT.  WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 5 FT  AT 11 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT.

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