Tag Archives: Governor Jay Inslee

Halt Pacific Northwest Oil Trains

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMThe oil train you see above may be one of the last to pass through Hood River, Oregon.  Three weeks ago a near catastrophic derailment/fire occurred in the neighbouring town of Mosier. The town is still  dealing with the aftereffects. Thursday the Federal Rail Authority’s (FRA) Preliminary report blamed the incident on Union Pacific’s failure to maintain their tracks.  Now the  Governors of Washington and Oregon are calling upon the FRA to halt Pacific Northwest oil trains.
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Will Washington Students Need A Fourth Court Victory?

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The state of Washington has a legal obligation to protect its’ citizens from the negative impacts of climate change. Eight Seattle high school students have already established this in court, three times. After their last victory, on May 16, 2016, King County Superior Court Judge Hollis R. Hill ordered the state to adopt “a rule to limit the state’s greenhouse gas emissions in Washington” by the end of the year. After some delay, Washington Department of Ecology “released an updated version of the state’s first-ever rule to cap carbon pollution”  using the same outdated scientific data that prompted the lawsuits. Will Washington students need a fourth court victory?
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Mosier Was Lucky, No One Was Killed

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The flames have been put out and a tweet from the Washington’s Department of Ecology says the air quality is good.  Four railway cars, carrying approximately 120,000 gallons of oil, ruptured in yesterday’s incident. No one knows how much oil spilled out, or made its’ way into the Columbia River. (As you can see in the photo above, there was a sheen on the Oregon shore this morning.) No one can flush their toilets, or drink the water, because the town’s sewer plant was directly affected. A local resident said Mosier was Lucky, no one was killed.

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Do The Pacific Coast’s Climate Leaders Mean Business?

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1On June 1, 2016, the Governors of Washington, Oregon and California joined British Columbia’s Environment Minister and representatives from six West Coast cities, in the Borgia Room of San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis Hotel, to sign what history may show was a key milestone in the struggle to mount a concerted defence against the ravages of global temperature rise. The 2016 Pacific Coast Climate Leadership Action Plan has a strong emphasis on issues like ocean acidification; the integration of clean energy into the power grid; “support for efforts by the insurance industry and regulatory system to highlight the economic costs of climate change; and so-called “super pollutants” (also known as short-lived climate pollutants).” This sounds good, but do the Pacific Coast’s “Climate Leaders” mean business?

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How is the West Coast Electric Fleets Initiative Doing?

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMIt has been nine months since the Governments of California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia embarked upon a shared initiative. In their joint press release, group spokesperson Governor Kate Brown explained “The West Coast Electric Fleets initiative leads the way in helping fleets scale up zero-emission vehicles to reach our goal that, by 2016, 10 percent of all new purchases are electric vehicles.” How is the West Coast Electric Fleets Initiative Doing?

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The Ten-Year-Long Fight against Oregon LNG Is Over

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMLeucadia National Corp has decided it will no longer fund the proposed $6 billion LNG terminal in Warrenton, at the mouth of the Columbia River. A determined coalition of local residents, fishermen and environmentalists blocking their way. Now the ten-year-long fight against Oregon LNG is over.

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When A Government Betrays Its’ People

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMThere is more than one sense in which the recent Canadian election marks the change of a dynasty. The names have changed but, with one exception, up until now the majority of British Columbian representatives sent to parliament have been Conservative since 1974. After 1993, when the Reform party made its’ appearance, they have usually been elected in more than 20 seats. The events that brought about their downfall are so similar to the situation developing in the Pacific NorthWest that they should be studied together. There are repercussions when a government betrays its’ people.

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America’s Next Fossil Fuel Superhighway

Part One: Coal

By Roy L Hales

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Two years ago, there were 6 proposed coal port terminals in the Pacific Northwest. That was when Governors Jay Inslee of Washington and John Kitzhaber of Oregon issued a joint statement opposing, “the decisions to continue and expand coal leasing from federal lands and authorize the export of that coal are likely to lead to long-term investments in coal generation in Asia, with air quality and climate impacts in the United States that dwarf almost any other action the federal government could take in the foreseeable future.” Only 2 of those 6 coal projects are still under consideration. Millennium Bulk Terminals is one of seven proposed facilities that could transform the Columbia River into America’s next fossil fuel superhighway.
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The First Of Four Energy Storage Units

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The first of four energy storage units financed through Washington state’s Clean Energy fund went online Thursday, January 15. Governor Jay Inslee dedicated a 1-MW system at Snohomish County Public Utility District’s (SnoPUD) Everett substation. This is part of the Modular Energy Storage Architecture (MESA) 1 project, which will consist of two 1-MW, 500-MWhr lithium-ion battery based systems at one substation.  

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Washington’s EV Development is Ready to Move Forward

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The 2009 “Green Highways bill” (HB 1481) opened the door for Washington state’s EV infrastructure. With the help of funding through the Federal Recovery Act, Governor Chris Gregoire announced construction of “the nation’s first true electrified highway” in June 2010. It was to stretch out along the 276 miles of the I-5, which connects to Oregon and Canada. None of this would have come into being if it were not for an active EV community. Yet in 2013 – the year there were more Teslas sold in Washington than any other state in America – things started stalling. The good news is that Washington’s EV development is ready to move forward. Will the state legislators make this possible?
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