Earthfix Northwest Environmental News

NPR Story
11:01 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Vancouver City Council Votes 5-2 To Oppose Northwest's Largest Oil Terminal

Hundreds turned out for a Vancouver City Council hearing on a resolution opposing the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal, proposed for the Port of Vancouver.
Cassandra Profita

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 4:00 am

Hundreds gathered at the Hilton Vancouver Convention Center and stayed late into the night Monday for a Vancouver City Council hearing on a resolution opposing what would be the Northwest's largest oil-by-rail shipping facility.

More than 140 people signed up to testify at the hearing. At 11 p.m., more than four hours after the hearing began, the council voted to extend the meeting even later to take additional testimony.

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NPR Story
8:57 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Federal Rules On CO2 Emissions To Bolster Action In The Northwest

The TransAlta Centralia Generation Plant has been burning coal since 1971. It is Washington's only coal-fired power plant. It was on track to be shuttered before the EPA's new rules came out calling for such plants to curb emissions 30 percent.
Pamela Gerber, 2009

SEATTLE — The Environmental Protection Agency's new rules requiring states to cut carbon emissions from power plants are likely to change the energy landscape in Northwest states, even though they have far fewer coal-fired power plants than most of the U.S.

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NPR Story
8:09 am
Mon June 2, 2014

EarthFix Conversation: A Stand-Up Economist's Take On Capping Carbon

File photo of Yorum Bauman delivering his 'stand-up economist' routine in 2013. Bauman has a PhD in economics and has thoughts on what states like Washington can do to curb carbon emissions under newly proposed EPA rules.
Ashley Ahearn

On Monday the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new set of rules under the Clean Air Act that will require states to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, as compared to 2005 levels.

The new rules will give states the latitude to choose how they go about lowering CO2 emissions.

Yoram Bauman has an idea for them: He’s been advocating for a tax on carbon emissions in Washington State for the past 5 years.

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Renewable Energy Takes Root In Northwest Indian Country

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Eastern Oregon is home to the Northwest’s first wind turbine on tribal lands. The turbine will generate 25 percent of the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute's power.
Courtney Flatt

PENDLETON, Ore. -- You can spot one of the Eastern Oregon’s newest renewable energy projects from Interstate 84. It doesn’t look like other wind projects east of the Cascades.

A single wind turbine rises over the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Can You Taste An Old Growth Forest In This Beer?

On a recent hike, brewer Dan Hynes pours samples of beer he made using yeast collected from an old growth forest near Portland.
Cassandra Profita

You can see some of the differences between an old growth forest and one that's been logged.

On a hike through an old growth forest near Portland, Matt Wagoner of the Forest Park Conservancy points out some of the most obvious ones: Older, taller, coniferous trees, dead trees both standing and fallen, and a wide variety of plants and animals living inside of and on top of that dead wood.

"One of the things that really defines old growth forests is biodiversity," Wagoner says.

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Earthfix
4:16 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Oregon And 7 Other States Plan To Increase Zero Emission Vehicles

An electric vehcile being recharged. Oregon is joining seven other states in a plan to bring more electric vehicles to roadways. The state focus will be on getting more car dealer involvement and working with utilities.
Washington Department of Transportation

Oregon is joining seven other states in a plan to bring 3.3 million electric vehicles to the nation's roadways.

Many other states in the alliance are working to have more charging infrastructure built -- something Oregon has been working on for years now. For that reason, Oregon's strategy will focus on getting more car dealer involvement.

About 90 percent of the state’s population has access to fast charging stations, according to said Ashley Horvat, Oregon’s chief EV officer.

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NPR Story
2:44 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Intel Agrees To Test Air Pollution, Analyze Health Risks At Oregon Facilities

An illustration of Intel's planned D1X expansion at its Ronler Acres manufacturing plant in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Courtesy of Intel http://download.intel.com/newsroom/kits/corporate/gallery/images/PlannedDevelopment_FabD1X_HillsboroOregon.jpg

In response to the threat of a lawsuit over its failure to report air emissions of fluoride, Intel Corp. has agreed to test for air pollution at its Oregon facilities and conduct a risk assessment.

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NPR Story
10:57 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Boeing Focuses On Fuel Efficiency In Light Of New Climate Rules

Boeing has invested in ETS Aviation, which helps airlines respond to regulatory pressure over carbon emissions.
Flickr Photo/Chuck Taylor

Boeing is buying a software company that it says will make planes more fuel efficient.

The purchase of ETS Aviation of Bristol, England, will also help prepare airlines for a new challenge. That's because the company can measure carbon use.

And the aerospace industry, one of the heaviest emitters of greenhouse gases, is starting to accept that global controls on carbon emissions are probably coming.

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Oso Highlights A Policy Challenge: Development Pressure Vs. Landslide Risk

Barbara Ingram stands in front of the site of a proposed development in her neighborhood. Snohomish County denied the permit for the development due to "slope stability and drainage issues" but the developer has reapplied.
Ashley Ahearn

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 1:00 am

This is the second part of a two-part series on managing landslide risk. Read the first part of the series here.

EDMONDS, Wash. — Barbara Ingram furrows her brow as she peers into a patch of woods up the road from her house. Developers have had their eyes on this place, too.

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

One County’s Controversial Move To Protect Homeowners From Landslide Risk

John Thompson, a geologist and senior planner with Whatcom County, surveys the Jim Creek and Bald Mountain landslides along Canyon Creek. The slides have blocked the creek repeatedly, causing flooding that has destroyed homes downstream.
Ashley Ahearn

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:00 pm

This is the first part of a two-part series on managing landslide risk. Read the second part of the serieshere.

GLACIER SPRINGS, Wash. — Canyon Creek comes plunging fast and steep down the Cascade Mountains near Mount Baker.

Since the March 22 Oso landslide killed 42 people, county governments in the Northwest have been thinking more about how to plan for and mitigate the risk of landslides.

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