Tuesday, October 18, 2016

10/18 Tug sinking, oil spilling, Tacoma LNG promises, promises

(PHOTO: Crystal Green/BirdNote)
Where Birds Go to Die
Birds seem to be all around us. But we rarely come across those that have died. And why? When birds suffer from illness or injury, they often seek safe, secluded places — hidden from view and potential predators. So when death comes, a bird’s body is hidden. And it doesn’t persist for long. Scavengers salvage what they can. Nutrients from the body return to the earth, enriching the soil. And small animals may consume the bones, a rich source of calcium. Soon, all that’s left are the feathers — reminders of the bird’s grace and beauty during its lifetime. (BirdNote)

B.C. government’s lack of progress on oil spill response highlighted by tug accident
In 2012 the B.C. government set out five conditions that must be met before the province supports two proposed pipelines that would greatly increase tanker traffic on the West Coast. No.2 on that list is the establishment of a “world-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery system.” Last week the lack of progress on that point was underlined in dramatic fashion when U.S.-registered tug Nathan E. Stewart ran aground while pushing a huge fuel barge in a narrow passage just north of Bella Bella. Fortunately for the Great Bear Rainforest and the Heiltsuk people who live there, barge DBL 55 was empty. But an incident report filed in 2011 by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation gives a sense of how bad the accident could have been, had the 91-metre fuel barge been loaded. On Dec. 21 that year, the same tug and barge combination went adrift after an engine failed near Cape Fairweather, in the Gulf of Alaska. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail) See also: Diesel spill near Bella Bella an 'environmental disaster,' says nearby First Nation  (CBC)

Deal on Tacoma LNG plant would alter 2008 promise by PSE’s parent company
For more than a year, state utilities regulators have grappled with a simple question about the complex financial machinations attached to Puget Sound Energy’s proposed liquified natural gas plant: Will this put ratepayers at risk? After protracted negotiation, PSE, the Utilities and Transportation Commission staff and a handful of other parties say they have worked out a compromise that claims, repeatedly, that the answer is no. Their agreement lays out an intricate system of split ownership and management for the LNG plant between the utility and the private investor group that owns it. This week, the agreement goes before a judge, who will hear public comments and evidence about the deal before deciding whether he approves. If the deal wins approval, it will alter a pledge Puget Sound Energy’s Australia-based owners made to state and federal regulators to win permission to buy the utility in 2008. The regulators’ approval came with a written agreement that Puget Energy — the holding company that owns Puget Sound Energy — would not own or operate another business besides the utility company. The proposal to make and sell LNG as a subsidiary company would be barred under that agreement. Derrick Nunnally reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  242 AM PDT TUE OCT 18 2016  

TODAY
 SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 8  FT AT 11 SECONDS. SCATTERED SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
 SW WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING SE AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND  WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 9 FT AT 12 SECONDS.

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