Wednesday, September 14, 2016

9/14 Killer whales, BC pipe, Alaska oil, Site C, Hanjin Shipping, Clear Cr., youth climate suit

Killer whales in British Columbia (Carl Safina)
As salmon dwindle, whales die
Governor Jay Inslee visited the San Juan Islands over Labor Day weekend for two reasons: to secure voters, and to get a little peace and quiet. While he did find those two things, he was also confronted with something else—orca advocates seeking help for the region’s Southern Resident killer whales. On the morning of September 3, atop Mount Grant, Inslee listened to the pleas of the orca group to remove dams from the Snake River to help replenish wild salmon stocks. In turn, he asked the group—which included both concerned scientists and citizens—questions about the importance of Columbia-Snake River Basin and its salmon to the orcas. The answer: With dams on the Columbia, there are fewer salmon, and with fewer salmon, the orcas will continue starving to death. Carl Safina and Erica Cirino write. (National Geographic)

Editor's note: Reader Don Norman points out that yesterday's picture accompanying a story about a young Great Blue Heron was of an adult heron. "Juveniles have no white in the crown, second years a bald white spot."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau planning to approve at least one pipeline, with Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain in the lead
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to approve at least one new oil pipeline project in his first term, with Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain expansion to the Pacific Coast the most likely candidate, people familiar with his plans said. The prime minister is seeking to strengthen environmental standards and build confidence in new regulatory rules while also stoking growth in Canada’s sluggish economy by backing a pipeline. Trudeau therefore plans to neither approve all the projects under consideration nor reject them all, according to the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions are private…. Kinder’s proposal is seen as likeliest to win approval despite opposition among key figures in vote-rich Vancouver, the people said. The Trans Mountain expansion already has conditional regulatory sign-off from the National Energy Board. Josh Wingrove reports. (Bloomberg News)

Overlooked North Slope formation may hold 120,000-barrel-a-day secret
Geologists say a potential major oil discovery in Alaska, coupled with a state geological analysis released this summer, indicate that an often-overlooked rock formation on the North Slope may hold significant potential for future oil discoveries. Those experts have long known that the sandstone in the Nanushuk formation, an underground layer of rocks deposited from eroding mountains about 100 million years ago, had the qualities for oil and gas. But while the Nanushuk has been penetrated by dozens of wells — the formation is one of the first rock layers that a drill bit pierces in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska — longtime geologists say decades of drilling has led to only minor discoveries. That changed last year when Spanish company Repsol and Armstrong Oil and Gas of Denver announced that they had found what experts say might be one of the largest oil discoveries in Alaska. Alex DeMarban reports. (Alaska Dispatch News)

B.C. First Nations criticize Trudeau government for approving Site C permits
An indigenous member of the federal Liberal caucus is breaking ranks with his colleagues on B.C.’s controversial Site C project, saying he is not convinced that two First Nations were properly consulted about the multibillion-dollar hydroelectric project. Robert-Falcon Ouellette, MP for Winnipeg Centre, said Tuesday he still has questions about a July decision by the Fisheries and Oceans Department authorizing construction of the dam on the Peace River. Ouellette said he plans to raise the issue with Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc when Parliament resumes next week. (Canadian Press)

Hanjin Shipping secures $45 million, more may take 'considerable time'
The chairman of Hanjin Group transferred 40 billion won ($36 million) to Hanjin Shipping (117930.KS) on Tuesday to help unload cargo stranded on the troubled shipper's vessels, a spokesman said, but regulators warned securing further funds could take "considerable time." The parent of Hanjin Shipping pledged last week to raise 100 billion won to help rescue cargo in the wake of the collapse of the world's seventh-biggest container shipper, including the 40 billion won from Chairman Cho Yang-ho. About $9 million pledged by Choi Eun-young, a former chairwoman of Hanjin Shipping, has also come in, the shipper said. Around $14 billion of cargo has been tied up globally as ports, tugboat operators and cargo handling firms worried about not being paid refused to work for Hanjin, which filed for receivership in a Seoul court on Aug 31.  Hyunjoo Jin and Cecile Lefort report. (Reuters)

Returning Clear Creek's curves
…. Kitsap County is in the final phase of an ambitious project to return a straightened section of Clear Creek to its naturally curvy course. Started in May, the $3 million project is reviving the Silverdale creek's historic floodplain on 30 county-owned acres north of Waaga Way. What was once a meandering route has, over the past century, been turned into straight sections to accommodate farms and the more recent spate of commercial development. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Federal Judge In Oregon Weighs Dismissal Of Youths' Climate Suit
Federal Judge Ann Aiken heard from attorneys Tuesday in a case that 21 young people have brought against the Obama administration over climate change.  the audience for the hearing overflowed into two other rooms at the Eugene Federal Courthouse and in courtrooms in Portland. Attorneys for the federal government and fossil fuel industry groups argued for dismissal of the case. Sean Duffy, with the Justice Department, acknowledged climate change is real and human caused. But he said the judicial system is not the right forum to push for more action to cut carbon emissions. Attorney Julia Olsen, with Our Children’s Trust, represents the youth plaintiffs. She said when Congress and the executive branch aren’t doing enough it’s up to the judicial branch to step in—decisions which ended segregation established marriage equality. Rachael McDonald reports. (KLCC/EarthFix)

Now, your tug weather---
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PDT WED SEP 14 2016  

TODAY
 W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING NW IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES  1 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING NW AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS.

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