Wednesday, January 25, 2017

1/25 Trump's pipes, DAPL pushback, oil fund shortfall, spill response, rising seas, EPA blackout, border wall, clam gardens, white men, TPP, Navy pier

Hairy Triton [NOAA]
Hairy Triton (Fusitriton oregonensis)
The hairy triton has a white shell covered by bristly periostracum, a thin organic coating or "skin" which is the outermost layer of the shell. It is mostly subtidal but often seen during very low tides. Feeds on a variety of marine animals including sea urchins. Males ride on females and defend against other encroaching males. Females brood and protect egg masses which resemble clusters of corn kernels. Growing up to 5 inches, it is the largest snail in local waters after the moon snail. (Marine Life of Puget Sound, the San Juans, and the Strait of Georgia)

Trump acts to advance Keystone XL, Dakota Access pipelines 
President Donald Trump moved swiftly Tuesday to advance the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, signing executive actions to aggressively overhaul America’s energy policy and deal a sharp blow to Barack Obama’s legacy on climate change…. Trump, in his continuing effort to undo the past eight years of a Democratic president, invited the Keystone builder, TransCanada, to resubmit its application to the State Department for a presidential permit to construct and operate the pipeline. The company said it would reapply. Matthew Daly and Ken Thomas report. (Associated Press) See also: Trump’s advocacy of pipelines comes with a string: They must use U.S. workers and steel  Anita Kumar and Franco Ordonez report. (McClatchy) And also: Former SW Washington Lawmaker Aids Trump Team In Pro-Pipeline Decisions  Conrad Wilson reports. (OPB/EarthFix) And finally: Trump's EPA pick bumbles from Washington state onto national stage  Danny Westneat reports. (Seattle Times)

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe prepares to push back against Trump's Dakota Access Pipeline order  …. Jan Hasselman, attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota, said Tuesday the tribe would push back with a lawsuit defending the decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to undertake a full environmental impact review that includes looking at alternative routes for the 1,100-mile oil pipeline through four states. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Washington Lawmakers Want To Fix $4M Shortfall In Oil Spill Prevention Budget
Democrats in the Washington Legislature are looking to bolster the state’s oil spill prevention efforts. An expansion of a Kinder Morgan oil pipeline through British Columbia is expected to increase oil tanker traffic in Washington’s Salish Sea sevenfold. Meanwhile, Washington’s Department of Ecology estimates a shortfall of $4 million in its oil spill prevention program. Companion bills introduced by Sen. Reuven Carlyle and Rep. Jessyn Farrell, both Seattle Democrats, hope to plug that gap by increasing a tax on oil shipments and extending the tax to cover oil transported by pipeline. Tony Schick reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Reduced oil spill response times on B.C. coast a step closer to reality
A ramped up oil spill response could mean more jobs for Vancouver Island and Vancouver. With the approval of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline at both the federal and provincial levels, plans for seven new oil response stations are closer to becoming reality. Michael Lowry is the communications manager for the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation and he says Trans Mountain asked the company to do assessments on reducing oil spill response times. "And what that looked like is basically reducing the upper planning standards for response times in Vancouver harbour from six hours today, down to two hours," said [Michael] Lowry [communications manager for the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation]. For the southern shipping route along Vancouver Island, Lowry says the goal is to have a response time of six hours, what he calls a "drastic" reduction…. "In the Gulf Islands, you are looking at a maximum 18-hour response, and then as you get to the west side, over at Port Renfrew, the current planning standards are up to 72 hours." Jean Paetkau reports. (CBC) See also: Oil-spill risks rising in Salish Sea — are we ready? Samantha Larson reports. (Crosscut)

One of the last Obama-era climate reports had a troubling update about the rising seas
A new report, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the last day of Barack Obama’s presidency, presents a series of updated estimates for future sea-level rise, both in the United States and worldwide. It suggests that, under extreme future climate change, global sea levels could rise by more than eight feet by the end of the century — one of the highest estimates yet to be presented in a federal report.  The report also contains a series of regional estimates, suggesting that many parts of the United States will experience sea-level rise at a rate well above the global average. Chelsea Harvey reports. (Washington Post)

Trump admin orders EPA contract freeze and media blackout 
The Trump administration has instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants, part of a broader communications clampdown within the executive branch. Emails sent to EPA staff since President Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday and reviewed by The Associated Press detailed specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts. Michael Biesecker and John Flesher report. (Associated Press)

Trump moving forward with border wall, weighs refugee cuts
President Donald Trump will begin rolling out executive actions on immigration Wednesday, beginning with steps to build his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to two administration officials. He’s also expected to target so-called sanctuary cities and is reviewing proposals that would restrict the flow of refugees to the United States…. Trump is said to still be weighing the details of plans to restrict refugees coming to the U.S. Julie Pace, Vivian Salama and Rachel Zoll report. (Associated Press)

Gulf Islands seeing return of traditional First Nations clam gardens
A Parks Canada project is reviving the traditional practice of clam gardening in the Gulf Islands. Clam Garden Project coordinator Skye Augustine explained how First Nations along the B.C. coast altered beaches over centuries for aquaculture…. Parks Canada is working on a five-year project with the Hul'q'umi'num and Saanich First Nations to revive clam gardens in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Liam Britten reports. (CBC)

Secret meetings between tribes, state divide fishing advocates
Fishermen continue to rally to stop private meetings between the state and tribes, but the movement is creating a rift in the fishing community…. Those meetings start soon, and they'll divide up salmon between tribal and non-tribal fishermen. They're secret meetings between tribal and state wildlife officials. No one else is allowed to attend. The meetings have prompted a petition with nearly 1,500 signatures, all demanding the process be open to the public. It's dividing fisherman among commercial and sport fishing advocates, as many commercial fishermen are speaking out against the movement in support of the tribes. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Trump’s Cabinet So Far Is More White and Male Than Any First Cabinet Since Reagan’s
President Trump’s cabinet is shaping up to have a smaller percentage of women and nonwhites than the first cabinets of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George Bush. If Mr. Trump’s nominees are confirmed, women and nonwhites will hold five of 22 cabinet or cabinet-level positions. He has not yet named the nominee for one additional position. Jasmine Lee reports. (NY Times) See also: From Lying to Leering: Donald Trump’s fear of women  Rebecca Solnit writes. (London Review of Books)

Washington Trade Advocates Disappointed By Trump's Withdrawal From Pacific Trade Deal
Trade advocates in Washington state are feeling disappointed after President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is a trade pact between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries, including Canada and Japan. Simone Alicea reports. (KNKX) See also: Donald Trump just forfeited in his first fight with China  Matt O'Brien writes. (Washington Post) And also: How much truth is there in Trump's TPP claims?  Karishma Vaswani reports. (BBC)

Navy gets permit for pier off Ediz Hook 
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has given the Navy permission to remove a jetty at Ediz Hook for a 425-foot submarine-escort-vessel pier that will jut into Port Angeles Harbor and require pile-driving to construct. The Corps determined late Monday that the jetty’s removal on the grounds of Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles will not harm efforts by the city of Port Angeles and the Corps to control erosion on the Hook, Corps spokeswoman Patricia Graesser said Tuesday in an email. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  257 AM PST WED JAN 25 2017  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT FROM THIS
 EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON  
TODAY
 E WIND 10 KT OR LESS. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL  3 FT AT 10 SECONDS BUILDING TO 6 FT AT 15 SECONDS. A SLIGHT  CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL  BUILDING TO 12 FT AT 20 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

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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 at salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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