Tag Archives: Governor Kate Brown

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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Maintenance Failure Caused Mosier Derailment

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMThree weeks have passed since the oil train derailment at Mosier, on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. The giant Baker tanks, used to store raw sewage, have been removed from downtown. In an audio posted to the town’s website, Mayor Arlene Burns proclaims that the city is once again open for business. But according to Kristen McNall, a volunteer with Mosier Fire, they are still dealing with the accident’s repercussions. Today a preliminary Federal Railway Administration report confirmed that a maintenance failure caused the Mosier derailment

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Mosier Objects To Restarting Rail Traffic

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Mosier’s sewer system was still turned off this morning. Some of the derailed oil cars still sit beside the tracks, where the town’s fifteen volunteer fire fighters fought to contain the fire throughout Friday and into the night. The town’s acquirers were depleted during the battle. Now Union Pacific wants to resume normal operations but, until they can explain the cause of the accident, Mosier Objects To Restarting Rail Traffic.

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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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Oregon Passed a 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMOregon passed a 50% renewable portfolio standard that involves the total phase out of coal fired electricity by 2035. Half of the state’s electricity is to come from renewable sources by 2040.  The Oregon legislature passed Senate Bill 1547-B (38-20) on Tuesday and Governor Kate Brown signed it into law today.

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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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The Fight Over Jordan Cove LNG Will Continue

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMThe struggle has been ongoing for more than a decade. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) approved the first incarnation of this project in 2009 and few are surprised to hear they  issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement today.  The energy company Veresen’s President and CEO, Don Althoff, calls this “a significant regulatory milestone,” which came about after working “closely with federal, state and local regulatory agencies and with local communities over the past three years.” Forrest English, of Rogue Riverkeeper, said “FERC has never turned down a new LNG terminal.” The fight over Jordan Cove LNG will continue.

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What Climate Change May Bring To The West Coast

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The situation in California is intensifying. More than half of Oregon is now officially in extreme drought conditions. Washington’s snowpack has disappeared and more than a quarter of the state’s rivers are at record time lows. Though the emergency has not yet reached British Columbia, the province predicts “some regions will likely experience significant water supply shortages.” The drought shows us what Climate Change could bring to the West Coast. Continue reading What Climate Change May Bring To The West Coast