Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 27, 2017: The Energy Bill No One is Talking About

Packaged in 890 pages of legislation, its little wonder that the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 has received little attention. But if you care about how your energy is served, water and land conservation, oil and gas pipelines, and their carbon counterpart, renewables, you may want to take notice. The bill was co-authored by Senators Maria Cantwell and Lisa Murkowski earlier this month and fast-tracked through committee by Mitch McConnell. Martha Baskin has more.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 19, 2017: Sierra Club Challenges Washington's Green Governor on Plans to Build Fracked-Gas-to-Methanol Refinery

Ever since the plan to build what would become the world's largest fracked-gas-to-methanol refinery on the banks of the Columbia River was proposed, environmentalists and Governor Jay Inslee have been on opposite sides. For Inslee, considered one of the nation's greenest governors, the proposal by a subsidiary of the Chinese government is a "low-carbon energy" project that will stimulate trade. For the Sierra Club, 350 Seattle and others, a fossil fuel project that will release methane, a powerful warming gas, is one they say neither the state nor the planet can afford. Martha Baskin has the story.

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Friday, June 30, 2017

June 30, 2017: Canadian Trail Looks to Minimize Vessel Underwater Noise for Endangered Southern Resident Orcas

The region's endangered southern resident orcas face a triple threat – the lack of sufficient Chinook salmon, contamination and underwater noise from vessels. While orca and chinook numbers continue to plummet, the Port of Vancouver will conduct a unique vessel experiment this summer. They're asking ships to slow down their speed by half. Orca researchers and the Port of Seattle are taking notice. Martha Baskin has our story.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 20, 2017: “Trump-Proof Seattle" Campaign Devises Plan to Protect At-Risk Communities and Programs

With proposed federal cuts to everything from housing and mass transit to job training and environmental restoration, the Trump-Proof Seattle campaign wasted no time in proposing an alternative source of revenue to protect programs at risk. They hosted town hall forums in every city council district to get buy-in from council members. Their plan was to impose an income tax on high net worth individuals in Seattle. This summer, the city council is expected to pass an ordinance that could raise as much as $125 million annually which fewer than 5% of households would pay. Martha Baskin has the story.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 13, 2017: Climate Activists in PNW Fight Construction of World's Largest Methanol Refinery

Climate activists have held the line against Shell's Arctic drilling plans, shut down tar sands valves at refineries, and waged wave after wave of actions against new fossil fuel proposals for coal export terminals and oil-by-rail refineries in the Pacific Northwest. Late last year, Portland moved to the forefront of opposition to coal, oil, and gas exports when its city council voted unanimously to prohibit new fossil fuel infrastructure in the city. But opposing a proposal to build the world's largest gas-to-methanol refinery on the banks of the Columbia River in Washington State may be the most challenging fossil fuel fight that activists have waged to date. Martha Baskin has our story.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May 17, 2017: Springer, an Orca Success Story

The rescue of an orphaned orca was the first time a baby orca had been returned to its family in the wild. Nicknamed Springer, the orca's rescue from Puget Sound to her family off northern Vancouver Island, became an overnight success story. 15 years later it remains a good news story for a whale species that's endangered in the US and threatened in Canada. Martha Baskin has the story.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

May 4, 2017: Bird Sanctuaries: A Native Answer to an Ecosystem Under Threat

As birds face threats to their survival, creating native landscapes gives them a leg up in a sometimes hostile world. Native plants are those that occur naturally in a region in which they evolved. Without them and the insects that co-evolved with them, local birds can't survive. Martha Baskin brings us this ambient rich story featuring junkos, flickers, yellow throated warblers and rufous hummingbirds.

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