Tuesday, January 14, 2020

1/14 Snowshoe hare, Shell Anacortes refinery, BC LNG, WA lege, green agenda, Trump's fossil fuel generals, Jordan Cove LNG, hot oceans, Storming the Sound, small orcas, Great Bear estuary

Snowshoe hare [D.Gordon E. Robinson]
Snowshoe Hare Lepus americanus
Snowshoe hares live in the coniferous and boreal forests of the Rocky Mountains, the Appalachian Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, New England, Alaska, Minnesota, Michigan, and Montana. Within the United States, most of these coniferous forests are found on mountaintops, such as the Rockies, or near the Canadian border...During the winter, snowshoe hares are white, which helps them blend in with the snow...The hind legs of a snowshoe hare are noticeably larger, and have more fur and larger toes than those of other rabbits or hares. These adaptations provide additional surface area and support for walking on snow. The hind legs are what give the hare its common name. (National Wildlife Federation)

Exclusive: Royal Dutch Shell seeking buyer for Anacortes, Washington refinery - sources
Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) is looking to sell its oil refinery in Anacortes, Washington, according to three people familiar with the matter. If completed, this and other asset sales currently underway would reduce Shell’s North American refining operations to large plants on the U.S. Gulf Coast, said the people, speaking on condition of anonymity as the talks are private. Oil and gas major Shell has publicly committed to selling more than $5 billion of assets per year in 2019 and 2020. The Netherlands-based company is trying to use its global scale to build a power business as the world moves toward cleaner energy. Jessica Resnick-Ault and Laura Sanicola report. (Reuters)

Horgan says 'rule of law applies,' LNG pipeline will proceed despite protests
Premier John Horgan says a natural gas pipeline across northern British Columbia will be built despite ongoing protests and an eviction notice from some hereditary Indigenous leaders. The premier says the courts have ruled in favour of the project and the rule of law will apply to ensure work continues on the Coastal GasLink pipeline across northern B.C. to a coastal an export terminal. The 670-kilometre pipeline is part of a $40 billion liquefied natural gas project. Horgan says the project has received approval from 20 Indigenous nations along the pipeline route and its completion is of vital economic and social importance to the region. (Canadian Press)

Legislature opens on historic note amid plenty of protests
With some members wearing white to mark the centennial of American women getting the right to vote and various groups demanding action on $30 car tabs, support for farmers or protection of Puget Sound, the 2020 session of the Legislature opened on a historic note. Tacoma attorney Laurie Jinkins, a five-term legislator, was sworn in as the first woman and first lesbian to be elected as speaker of the House of Representatives. “Another barrier is broken, but it won’t be the last,” she told House members after she was elected unopposed. After meeting with legislators in most districts around the state in recent months, Jinkins said it’s clear homelessness and the lack of housing are issues in every community. Jim Camden reports. (Spokesman Review)

Inslee, environmentalists want aggressive action on climate, including a clean fuel standard
With auto emissions of planet-warming gases rising faster in Washington than almost anywhere on the West Coast — including car-centric Los Angeles — Gov. Jay Inslee and conservation groups plan a major push in the Legislature this session to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And while they’re still calling last year’s climate legislation victories momentous, Inslee and the greens say the 2020 session, which began Monday, will be a chance to complete 2019’s unfinished business. Katherine Long reports. (Investigate West)

Who Controls Trump’s Environmental Policy?
Among 20 of the most powerful people in government environment jobs, most have ties to the fossil fuel industry or have fought against the regulations they now are supposed to enforce. Lisa Friedman and Claire O'Neill report. (NY Times)

Federal Scientists Say Jordan Cove Won't Jeopardize Species
The proposed Jordan Cove liquified natural gas project will not jeopardize protected species. That’s according to a report by scientists with the National Marine Fisheries Service. The study looked at the potential impact of the construction and operation of the proposed export terminal at Coos Bay, as well as the 234 mile-long pipeline that would bring the gas from a connection near Malin, southeast of Klamath Falls. The agency’s Michael Milstein says the so-called “biological opinion” — or “bi-op” — is part of the federal permitting process meant to protect endangered or threatened species. Liam Moriarty reports. (Jefferson Public Radio)

2019 Was a Record Year for Ocean Temperatures, Data Show
Last year was the warmest year on record for the world’s oceans, part of a long-term warming trend, according to a study released Monday. “If you look at the ocean heat content, 2019 is by far the hottest, 2018 is second, 2017 is third, 2015 is fourth, and then 2016 is fifth,” said Kevin E. Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and an author on the study. The study, published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, follows an announcement last week by European scientists that Earth’s surface temperatures in 2019 were the second-hottest on record. Kendra Pierre-Louis reports. (NY Times)

Storming the Sound, January 30, Maple Hall, LaConner
Storming the Sound is a conference for environmental educators in the north Puget Sound region, including the counties of Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island, Jefferson and San Juan. Every January teachers, environmental organizations and students gather in La Conner to share their interest and expertise in environmental education. Registration is $10.

Malnourished Millennial Killer Whales Grew Up Smaller
More than 20 years ago, the population of chinook salmon near British Columbia’s Vancouver Island plummeted. The decline hit salmon-eating killer whales hard and the populations of both northern and southern resident killer whales fell in suit. But for these salmon-eating specialists, death wasn’t the only consequence. A new study reveals the dramatic drop in chinook salmon numbers has had a long-term effect on the northern resident killer whales that survived the famine. In particular, killer whales that were in their prime growth periods in the 1990s—from birth until 15 years old for females, and into their 20s for males—have grown up to be significantly smaller than older whales. Jasspreet Sahib reports. (Hakai Magazine)

Great Bear Rainforest estuary bought to maintain wildlife habitat
B.C. has a new conservation area near Bella Coola in the Great Bear Rainforest after a descendant of the settlers who had owned the land for decades sold it to a land trust. The area is near the mouth of the Bella Coola River and close to the town on B.C.’s Central Coast. The estuary covers 70 hectares, about 20 per cent of the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. It has been renamed the tidal flats conservation area, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) was scheduled to announce Tuesday. The trust will protect the area’s intertidal marshes, mudflats and tidal channels, and continue to provide a home for animals and birds as diverse as grizzly bears, salmon and the threatened marbled murrelet. Susan Lazaruk reports. (CBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  628 AM PST Tue Jan 14 2020   
 NE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SE 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 7 ft at 14 seconds  building to 10 ft at 13 seconds in the afternoon. A slight chance  of snow in the morning then a chance of snow in the afternoon. 
 SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming E 20 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 10 ft at 13 seconds. Rain  likely in the evening then rain after midnight.

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