Thursday, May 16, 2019

5/16 Goby, tanker ban, Roberts Bank, living harbor, oil rig reserves, gas prices, Tramp Harbor, 'nudges

Blackeye goby [Scott Gilmore]
Blackeye Goby Rhinogobiops nicholsii
Found in harems on sandy bottoms close to rocks and holes for shelter, in shallow to deep areas of the reefs. They feed on crustaceans and invertebrates. True Gobies are found in oceans and some rivers and lakes, usually in burrows or holes and can be territorial. They are able to rapidly change colour when socialising or feel threatened. (What's That Fish)

Senators defeat Ottawa’s oil tanker ban bill in rare move, putting legislation on life suppor
In a rare legislative move on Wednesday, the Senate transport committee voted to defeat the Liberal government’s moratorium on oil tankers in northern B.C., putting the controversial bill on life support after years of political wrangling. A vote against the bill by Independent Sen. Paula Simons, along with the five other Conservative senators on the committee, swayed a final decision in favour of recommending that the senate nix Bill C-48, which effectively bars any oil tankers from entering northern B.C. waters. The move does not immediately kill the oil tanker moratorium, but a vote by the senate to adopt the committee recommendations would stop the legislation in its tracks. A vote on the report is expected in coming days. Jesse Snyder reports. (National Post)

Public environmental assessment hearings underway on proposed Roberts Bank container terminal
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has kicked off the public hearing process on the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority's proposed $2 billion to $3 billion Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project. The hearings, which started Tuesday in Tsawwassen with motions on procedural matters, are scheduled to last until June 24 in communities like Delta, Vancouver, Victoria, Duncan and Port Renfrew. General hearings in Tsawwassen began on Wednesday and will last until Saturday.... Brad Armstrong, the lawyer representing the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, reiterated that the port authority does not project the number of vessels to increase from the new terminal, citing an increase in vessel size that will soak up the extra capacity of containers at Terminal 2: "The number of vessels should stay relatively the same." Opponents were less optimistic, noting Roberts Bank's growth of about 3.5% in the last decade has been largely built on shipping U.S. containers, contradicting the port's mandate as a catalyst for the Canadian economy. Other opponents noted that a project like Terminal 2 that would install a large man-made island at the mouth of the Fraser River - "the crucible of the Fraser estuary" - should receive the widest-possible spectrum of review possible, including options at DP World's Fairview terminal in Prince Rupert. Chuck Chiang reports. (Business in Vancouver) See also: Prince Rupert port plans to quadruple capacity  The port of Prince Rupert plans to double its container capacity by 2020 and ultimately quadruple its capacity, sending a bold message as fellow British Columbia port Vancouver grapples with its own plan to inject much-needed handling capacity into its terminals. Bill Mongelluzzo reports. (JOC)

Fish Below Your Feet and Other Solutions for a Living Harbor
In Seattle, Singapore, and other waterfront cities around the world, engineers are creating life-enhancing designs to encourage marine biodiversity. Tyee Bridge reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Retired oil rigs off the California coast could find new lives as artificial reefs
Offshore oil and gas drilling has been a contentious issue in California for 50 years, ever since a rig ruptured and spilled 80,000 to 100,000 barrels of crude oil off Santa Barbara in 1969. Today it's spurring a new debate: whether to completely dismantle 27 oil and gas platforms scattered along the southern California coast as they end their working lives, or convert the underwater sections into permanent artificial reefs for marine life. (

No simple answers for high B.C. gas prices or impact of pipeline, NEB says
There's no easy explanation for why B.C.'s gas prices are so much higher than the rest of Canada, or what will happen to them if the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion goes ahead, according to the National Energy Board's chief economist. The NEB released a snapshot of the issue Wednesday, breaking down the elements that have driven up the price at the pumps in B.C. "It's a combination of numerous factors," chief economist Jean-Denis Charlebois told CBC. "One factor is that we're approaching the summer driving season. This means demand is increasing." Bethany Lindsay reports. (CBC)

County considers island shellfish operation proposal
Some islanders contend that Tramp Harbor is not a suitable location to operate a proposed commercial shellfish enterprise because the area is both beloved for its natural beauty and recognized as an important natural habitat. An application for the project, at 6 acres in size, was filed in November by island produce farmer Nick Provo and is still under review by the Department Of Local Services Permitting Division as part of the SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) process. The bid will need further appraisal from the county before a decision is made to issue a permit and allow the development to proceed. Paul Rowley reports. But before that happens, county officials will need to determine if further action will be required to mitigate potential issues at the location. (Vashon Beachcomber)

Green Energy Nudges Come With a Hidden Cost
All across the United States, many households receive energy bills comparing their use to that of similar neighbors to remind them to use less energy. At most companies, employees are automatically enrolled in 401(k) plans unless they choose to opt-out, helping employees easily save for retirement. Such policies aim to "nudge" people toward making better choices, both for their future selves and for others. Nudges like these have become popular among policymakers, because they are virtually costless to implement. However, a new study from researchers at Carnegie Mellon, Fordham and Harvard universities finds that these nudges have an unexplored cost: they can decrease support for policies with far greater impact. "Although nudges can effectively change behavior, most have too small an impact to address societal problems on their own," said David Hagmann, a recent graduate of CMU's Department of Social and Decision Sciences, and now a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. "It appears that many people view them as substitutes for economic policies like a carbon tax or cap-and-trade scheme, instead of the complements they were always intended to be." (Carnegie Mellon University)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  250 AM PDT Thu May 16 2019   
 E wind to 10 kt becoming NW in the afternoon. Wind waves  2 ft or less. SW swell 4 ft at 14 seconds. A slight chance of  showers in the morning then a chance of showers in the afternoon. 
 W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 4 ft at 10 seconds. A slight chance  of showers in the evening then a chance of showers after  midnight.

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