Though there are a couple of operational projects along the United States eastern seaboard,1 tidal energy is still an infant technology. The Puget Sound is one of the most promising locations on the West Coast. In 2014 developers aborted a proposed project in Admiralty Inlet, between the Olympic Peninsula and Whidbey Island, because of ballooning costs. More recently, a University of Washington poll finds Washington residents support tidal energy.
“In the United States, Verdant Power first piloted an array of small turbines in the East River of New York as part of the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) project and was the world’s first grid-connected tidal array demonstration. The Maine Tidal Energy Project, led by developer Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) featured one grid-connected turbine in Cobscook Bay, ME” – Stacia J. Dreyer et al, Changing Tides: Acceptability, support, and perceptions of tidal energy in the United States, ScienceDirect, Volume 29, July 2017, p 74 ↩
Though Scott Pruitt’s antiquated beliefs on climate change are no secret, the recent disclosure of 7,500 emails shows how closely the former Oklahoma Attorney General used his position to further them. According to Amy Attwood, endangered species legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity, “No right-wing cause seemed to be off-limits to Pruitt’s public office as he focused on weakening protections for the climate and endangered species.” He is about to get another chance. Columbia Riverkeeper, Snake River Waterkeeper, Idaho Rivers United, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, and the Institute for Fisheries Resources have filed a suit forcing Scott Pruitt to protect salmon from climate change.
Porterville, California, is about to make transportation history. The little Californian city only receives an average of 13 inches of rain a year, which makes it particularly vulnerable to atmospheric inversion, which holds in the exhausts from vehicles, agriculture, and other sources. Thanks to a determined city hall, the number of Stage 1 smog alerts declined from 100% per year, in the 1970s, to almost zero. On December 7, the California Air Resources Board awarded $9.5-million to replace its’ entire bus fleet. By January, 2018, Porterville should have North America’s first 100% electric municipal bus system.
In what may soon be the type of action relegated to history, on November 29 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) criticized the U.S. Army Corps draft environmental impact statement for what could be the the largest coal export terminal in North America, “because it fails to consider adverse impacts from the project.” The EPA calls federal review of Longview Coal Terminal inadequate.
There have been salmon die-offs since the mid-1990s. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was on the verge of addressing this issue more than a decade ago. Vested interests objected. The idea was shelved until last year’s drought. After water temperatures rose 4 degrees above the lethal ceiling (68 degrees F), 96% of the returning adult sockeye died before they could pass beyond the Lower Granite dam. Now a coalition of environmental groups is forcing EPA to protect salmon in the Columbia and Snake rivers. Continue reading Forcing EPA To Protect Salmon→