Monday, October 29, 2018

10/29 Fall, climate kids, Tacoma LNG, orca comments, 1631, LNG Canada, BC pipe, fish cops, Dyes Inlet, Trump fracking

[PHOTO: Laurie MacBride]
Entering the Wet Season
Laurie MacBride in Eye On Environment writes: "After a long, welcome stretch of sunny October days, our all-too-familiar autumn rains have arrived – a signal of that dark, wet time of year here on the west coast which lasts until sometime in February. Yet even with our mostly-brown season closing in, there are fascinating things happening outdoors..."

Rallies planned across the nation in support of ‘climate kids’ case
Rallies are scheduled across the country on Monday in support of a youth-led climate case that’s on hold pending Supreme Court review. A trial in the case — known as Juliana v. U.S. — was scheduled to begin Monday, Oct. 29, in U.S. District Court in Eugene. But proceedings are now temporarily suspended as the Supreme Court decides whether the case should move forward. A rally in Eugene is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon Monday outside the federal courthouse. Similar events will take place in 41 states, including California, New York, Washington and Colorado, and in Washington, D.C. The federal case was filed in 2015 by attorneys representing 21 youths, six of whom are from Eugene. The plaintiffs are now between 11 and 21. Jack Moran reports. (Eugene Register-Guard)

Citizens for a Healthy Bay, others critical of LNG plant’s review
A recently released draft of an environmental review of Puget Sound Energy’s liquefied natural gas plant, under construction on the Tacoma Tideflats, has attracted new criticism over its findings that the plant would provide lower greenhouse gas emissions if the fuel is sourced from British Columbia. This criticism comes during a 30-day public comment period for the review and before a public hearing on the review Tuesday at the Rialto Theater in Tacoma.... On Friday, the nonprofit Citizens for a Healthy Bay, which has spent nearly three decades advocating the cleanup and restoration of Commencement Bay, released a letter sharply critical of the review. In the letter sent to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, the nonprofit, previously neutral on the $310 million project, said it was moving away from that position. Debbie Cockrell reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Southern Resident Orca Task Force Draft Recommendations Comment Deadline
Midnight Oct 29 is the deadline for public comment on the latest Task Force recommendations. Comment online here.  Read more: Orca Recovery Task Force Seeking Public Comment On Updated Draft Recommendations  Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Oil refiners invest millions to fight carbon-fee initiative — and would see big payoff if their campaign wins
Four oil companies that operate Washington refineries have invested more than $25 million to defeat Initiative 1631, the carbon fee on the fall ballot. Should the initiative fail, that investment would have a big payoff. During the next decade, the companies would avoid what is likely to be hundreds of millions of dollars in fees assessed against greenhouse gases released from their Washington refineries, according to an analysis of state Department of Ecology records. These carbon-dioxide and other emissions result from the energy-intensive process of producing petroleum fuels, which requires large amounts of heat. BP, Phillips 66, Andeavor (now owned by Marathon Petroleum) and U.S. Oil and Refining Company campaign contributions represent more than 85 percent of the total raised in what has become the highest-spending opposition campaign in state history. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times) See also: How much would I-1631’s carbon fee cost you? That depends Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

Liberals call for release of BC government's LNG Canada agreement
The B.C. government should make public the details of a tax agreement it has with the companies building the $40-billion LNG Canada project in Kitimat, say the Opposition Liberals. Finance Minister Carole James said her government is finalizing an “operating performance payment agreement” with the LNG Canada consortium, though very little is known about the deal, which has not been made public. James said Thursday the agreement centres on how government has agreed to exempt LNG Canada from the provincial sales tax on its construction, and then recapture that revenue over 20 years in new operational payments once the liquified natural gas terminal is online.... But the Liberals said in question period at the legislature that the government is not being transparent enough about negotiations that could contractually bind future governments to tax exemptions and revenue assumptions. James argued negotiations have not yet been completed. Rob Shaw reports. (Vancouver Sun)

NDP MPs renew vow to stop Trans Mountain pipeline at Vancouver townhall
NDP MPs in British Columbia are once again vowing to do everything they can to stop the TransMountain pipeline expansion project as the National Energy Board conducts a new environmental assessment. On Sunday, MPs Jenny Kwan, Don Davies and Nathan Cullen held a town hall at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre to discuss the project. A few dozen people attended. "How do you do proper consultation when you already have a decision?" said Jenny Kwan, NDP MP for Vancouver East. "It's absolutely a farce." (CBC)

'Fish cops' keep eyes on the water
When too much of a resource is taken from area bays and beaches — a common occurrence when it comes to clams and crabs — it can put the species at risk of declining or disappearing. Preventing that is an ongoing battle in the Puget Sound region and requires having eyes on the water. That's where state Department of Fish & Wildlife officers such as Ralph Downes and Taylor Kimball come in. "We're professional watchers," Downes said. They also refer to themselves as "fish cops." Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Barges in Dyes Inlet helping to improve ecology of Puget Sound
Workers on barges at different ends of Dyes Inlet are currently at work on projects to improve the environment, albeit in different ways. A tug and barge spread oyster shells in Chico Bay this week as part of a project to improve habitat for native Olympia oysters, which have disappeared across much of the Pacific Northwest.... Meanwhile, near Lions Park in East Bremerton, another barge moved in this past week to begin a project to restore a sewer outfall pipe that goes into the waters of the Port Washington Narrows. Josh Farley and Tad Sooter report. (Kitsap Sun)

Driven by Trump Policy Changes, Fracking Booms on Public Lands
... Reversing a trend in the final years of the Obama presidency, the Trump administration is auctioning off millions of acres of drilling rights to oil and gas developers, a central component of the White House’s plan to work hand in glove with the industry to promote more domestic energy production..... In total, more than 12.8 million acres of federally controlled oil and gas parcels were offered for lease in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, triple the average offered during President Barack Obama’s second term, according to an analysis by The New York Times of Interior Department data compiled by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan group that advocates budget discipline. Eric Lipton and Hiroko Tabuchi report. (NY Times)


Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  203 AM PDT Mon Oct 29 2018   

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS  EVENING  

TODAY  S wind to 10 kt becoming SW in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 12 ft at 12 seconds subsiding to 10 ft at  12 seconds in the afternoon. Showers likely in the morning then a  chance of showers in the afternoon. 

TONIGHT  SW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell  9 ft at 12 seconds. A chance of showers.


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