Tuesday, July 10, 2018

7/10 River otter, orca plight, BC pipe, BC LNG, Wheeler's EPA

River otters [Dmitry Azovtsev www.daphoto.info]
River otter Contra canadensis
Although seldom seen, river otters are relatively common throughout Washington in ponds, lakes, rivers, sloughs, estuaries, bays, and in open waters along the coast. In colder locations, otters frequent areas that remain ice-free in winter—rapids, the outflows of lakes, and waterfalls. River otters avoid polluted waterways, but will seek out a concentrated food source upstream in urban areas. River otters are sometimes mistaken for their much larger seagoing cousin, the sea otter (Enhydra lutris). However, male sea otters measure 6 feet in length and weigh 80 pounds. Sea otters are acclimated to salt water, and come to shore only for occasional rest periods and to give birth. In comparison, river otters can be found in fresh, brackish, or salt water, and can travel overland for considerable distances. (WDFW) See also: They're cute, cuddly and smell like old fish. Now they're living in the wild.  Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Orcas of the Pacific Northwest Are Starving and Disappearing
For the last three years, not one calf has been born to the dwindling pods of black-and-white killer whales spouting geysers of mist off the coast in the Pacific Northwest. Normally four or five calves would be born each year among this fairly unique urban population of whales — pods named J, K and L. But most recently, the number of orcas here has dwindled to just 75, a 30-year-low in what seems to be an inexorable, perplexing decline. Listed as endangered since 2005, the orcas are essentially starving, as their primary prey, the Chinook, or king salmon, are dying off. Jim Robbins reports. (NY Times)

Alberta likely to take equity stake in Trans Mountain pipeline, Notley says
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the province is likely to end up owning a piece of the Trans Mountain pipeline. The federal government agreed to buy the Alberta-to-British-Columbia crude conduit this spring for $4.5 billion from U.S. company Kinder Morgan. Kinder Morgan had threatened to walk away from a planned $7.4-billion expansion to the line because of resistance from the B.C. government. Notley announced in May that her government would make up to $2 billion available, if necessary, to keep the project going. (Canadian Press)

'It’s going ahead': LNG Canada dreams appear closer to coming true as Shell ramps up in Kitimat
A flurry of activity in a remote Canadian town is raising optimism that Royal Dutch Shell Plc and its partners are ready to go ahead with the nation’s largest infrastructure project: a $40 billion (US$30 billion) liquefied natural gas terminal that could at last unlock energy exports to Asia. The action is unmistakable in Kitimat, British Columbia, the Pacific coast city hugging a deep inlet that would be the closest launch point on the continent for LNG cargoes to Asia. The lights are on, shades open and SUVs parked outside a 49-unit apartment complex built to house Shell executives, which sat mostly darkened for the last two years. Local workers have left jobs at a Rio Tinto Plc smelter nearby to join contractors ramping up for the LNG project. Landlords are raising rents and houses are selling twice as fast as they used to in anticipation of a flood of workers coming to town. (Bloomberg News)

Incoming EPA chief: ‘This is the right job for me.’
In some ways, Andrew Wheeler — former Environmental Protection Agency career staffer, Republican Senate aide, energy lobbyist — could hardly be more different from the man he is replacing as head of the EPA. Where Scott Pruitt was a career politician who enjoyed the limelight, Wheeler has worked behind the scenes on energy and environmental law. Pruitt filled his time at the agency by traveling the country, speaking to groups of industry executives and praising President Trump. As the EPA’s deputy administrator, Wheeler has spent much of his short tenure meeting with career staffers and delving into the policy weeds at the agency’s headquarters. But this much is clear: Wheeler intends to pursue many of the regulatory rollbacks Pruitt put in motion and to carry out Trump’s promises of a more efficient, less powerful EPA. Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin report. (Washington Post)



Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  246 AM PDT Tue Jul 10 2018   

TODAY  W wind to 10 kt becoming NW 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the  afternoon. SW swell 2 ft at 14 seconds. A slight chance of  showers in the morning. 

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less after midnight. W  swell 4 ft at 11 seconds.


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