Friday, January 31, 2014

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 31, 2014

High Speed Internet Coming to Onalaska (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(ONALASKA, WA) Residents in the Onalaska area will soon have access to broadband internet service.  It’s part of a stimulus-funded project.  TDS Telecommunications says the project is part of its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project to expand broadband internet service in rural areas.  The service is now available to some residents west of Onalaska.  Nearly 10 miles of fiber optics cable is being installed and six cabinets which protect the network electronics are being placed throughout their McDaniel Telephone Company service area.  TDS says when the project is completed in the spring the project should wrap up this spring nearly 600 residents around Onalaska and Salkum will have access to a high-speed internet connection.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Elliot Mainzer New BPA Administrator - Reaxn from Public Power Council/U-S Senator Murray

Public Power Council Statement on Appointment of Elliot Mainzer as Administrator of BPA

(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Public Power Council (PPC) commented today on the appointment of the Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).

“Elliot has the skills to lead BPA into the future,” said Scott Corwin, Executive Director of the Public Power Council, which represents consumer-owned electric utilities and their ratepayers across the region who rely on the transmission and clean hydropower marketed by BPA.

“It is helpful to see BPA moving toward stability,” noted Corwin.  “This is a useful step, and Elliot will have a good team working with him.”

“PPC looks forward to continuing to work well with him in his new capacity on the many challenges facing our industry,” Corwin said.

The Bonneville Power Administration is a critical part of the region’s economic base, providing power and transmission from the Federal Columbia River Power System throughout the Northwest.

PPC represents Pacific Northwest consumer-owned utilities on issues related to the Federal Columbia River Power System.

U-S Senator Murray Applauds DOE Decision to Name Elliot Mainzer BPA Administrator

Mainzer first joined BPA in 2002, currently serves as Acting Administrator

(WASHINGTON, DC) -- Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) decision to name Elliot Mainzer Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).  Mainzer, who currently serves as Acting Administrator, first joined BPA in 2002 and has served in several previous management positions, including Deputy Administrator.

“Now, more than ever, BPA needs strong leadership, and I’m pleased that Elliot Mainzer has been promoted to serve as Administrator of this critical agency,” said Senator Murray. “Like everyone, I’ve been extremely concerned by findings of illegal hiring practices at BPA, but I’m confident that Elliot has the ability to correct those issues and continue working closely with DOE while protecting BPA’s unique authority to provide reliable, low-cost power for the Northwest.”

Friday, January 24, 2014

Simpson Lumber Company’s Mill 5 Is Target for Reduction of 80 Employees (KMAS Radio, Shelton, WA)

200 More Ideas for the President’s Climate Plan – Hey Look! Power Marketing Administrations are on this list (Huffington Post)

Judge Rules Sandy River Hatchery Violates Endangered Species Act (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Over Heated Dissent, Ninth Circuit Rejects Rehearing in Low Carbon Fuel Standards Challenge, Setting Up Possible Supreme Court Commerce Clause Showdown (GTH Energy & Natural Resources Law Blog)

Why Princeton Researchers May be Wrong to Call Facebook the Next MySpace (San Jose Mercury News, CA)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 24, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Salmon Expert: Urban Waterways Can Help Restore a Fading Species (Sustainable Business Oregon)

Seattle City Light Bills May Grow 1.5 Percent - Sawant: Big Business Should Pay (Seattle Times, WA - Paywall Advisory)

Iowa Solar Company Fights for ‘Public Utility’ Distinction in State Supreme Court (Fox News)

Telemedicine Network Cuts Emergency Transport for Ill Babies (Longview Daily News, WA)

Price of Postage Stamps to Go Up Sunday (Oregonian, Portland)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 23, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Power Plant Engine Tumbles Off Truck into Port Westward Oil Tanker (Longview Daily News, WA)

Mini Nuclear Power Plants in Washington State’s Future? “…’It gives us an opportunity to educate consumers in our state about nuclear power,’ said Debbie Harris of the Franklin County Public Utility District…’ (Crosscut Seattle)

Bleak King Salmon Run Predicted for Alaska’s World-Famous Kenai River this Summer (Alaska Dispatch)

Comcast to Double Existing Speeds Again for Some Users (Broadband Reports)

Flu Continues to Pummel Inland Northwest Hard (KXLY TV, Spokane, WA)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

State Cuts Wires, Social Security, Out of Lifeline Low-Income Phone Program (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WA)

Port Angeles Claims Smart Meter Company is in Breach of Contract (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

Wind Energy of No Use in the Pacific Northwest (Forbes Magazine)

New Washington State Low-Carbon Fuel Standards Mired in Cost Debate (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance Announces 2013-14 Board of Directors - Experienced energy efficiency leaders tapped to help guide regional collaboration (PR NewsWire)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 21, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Feds Affirm: Salmon Protection Plan Is Working (Northwest RiverPartners)

NOAA Fisheries submits to the Court that protective measures are getting the job done for the region’s iconic fish

(PORTLAND, OR) -- After more than two years of additional work and analysis to strengthen their case, NOAA Fisheries has reaffirmed that measures in the federal salmon plan are working to protect and restore salmon populations in the Columbia Basin. The plan – called the Biological Opinion (BiOp) – is without a doubt the most comprehensive and expensive plan to protect an endangered species in the nation, and likely the world. Today NOAA Fisheries, the agency in charge of salmon protection, submitted the BiOp to U.S. District Court, District of Oregon, which will decide its merits.

NOAA’s conclusion is clear: The plan is benefitting listed salmon now and will continue to protect them well into the future. Highlights include:
  • $1.6 billion invested in new technologies at all eight federal dams and operational changes is helping young salmon survive at very high rates and helping adults return to their spawning grounds.
  • An unprecedented and massive program that has restored more than 10,000 acres of habitat in the Columbia Basin is already showing results.

“More than one million Fall Chinook salmon returned to spawn last year, the highest numbers since Bonneville Dam opened in 1938,” said Terry Flores, executive director of Northwest RiverPartners. “And the plan has worked to bring sockeye back from the brink of extinction.”

An earlier version of the BiOp was sent back to the federal action agencies by U.S. District Judge James Redden in 2011, who asked for more assurance that the plans to restore habitat for 13 runs of ESA-listed salmon and steelhead would deliver anticipated benefits. So the agencies (BPA, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation) reexamined the plan and the progress that has been made over the last decade.

Despite the salmon plan’s demonstrated progress, environmental and commercial fishing groups are expected to continue to block the plan in court, as they have done for nearly two decades.

“Lawsuits are these groups’ bread and butter, and they will continue to sue – no matter what the facts say,” Flores said. “They are bent on removing the federal dams, no matter how well the salmon are doing, so it’s simply not in their interest to acknowledge the tremendous progress being made.”

In fact, the litigants continue to press for radical changes in dam operations, including a ten-year “experiment” to dramatically increase “spill” through dams that would violate state and federal water quality standards established to protect salmon and other aquatic organisms and would significantly increase energy costs for Northwest families and businesses.

“It also would remove several hundred megawatts of clean renewable hydropower that fuels our economy and protects our environment,” Flores said. “This radical spill proposal makes no sense – until you understand that their ultimate goal is to reduce the cost-effectiveness of the federal hydro system in order to make the case for dam removal.”

With the BiOp, the goal of the federal agencies is to protect the region’s iconic fish. NOAA’s submittal of the salmon plan to the court starts a legal process that could last up to a year. U.S. District Judge Michael Simon will set the litigation schedule and hear the parties’ arguments before deciding on the plan’s adequacy.

Northwest RiverPartners is an alliance of utilities, ports, farmers & businesses joined in promoting clean renewable hydropower & salmon restoration policies based in sound science.

NOAA Fisheries Employs Sound Science to Help Salmon - Public Power Council Comments on Supplemental BiOp Release (Public Power Council, Portland, OR)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- Today, NOAA Fisheries released the latest iteration of the Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion (FCRPS BiOp), the plan that manages the Columbia and Snake Rivers to protect 13 salmon and steelhead populations listed under the Endangered Species Act.  This plan continues to utilize the best available science to protect Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead on a working Columbia River power and navigation system.

“This updated salmon plan continues on the path of progress seen over the past decade,” said Scott Corwin, Executive Director of the Public Power Council, which represents consumer-owned electric utilities and their ratepayers across the region who rely on the clean hydropower produced by this system.

The updated BiOp meets the U.S. District Court’s requirement that NOAA submit an amended plan that specifies additional habitat actions.  NOAA also found that the 2008 BiOp has yielded positive results.  Salmon passage rates at the dams is very high, more than 10,000 acres of fish habitat is being enhanced and protected, and hundreds of miles of new stream access is now available.  The fruits of these labors have led to the highest salmon returns in over 75 years.

“The region’s electric utility ratepayers are funding most of this massive effort, so it is good to see that it is working effectively to meet the fish survival goals,” said Scott Corwin, Executive Director of the Public Power Council.

The Federal Columbia River Power System BiOp is the most comprehensive and costly effort in the nation to protect ESA-listed species.

The Public Power Council represents Pacific Northwest consumer-owned utilities on issues related to the Federal Columbia River Power System.

Oregon Panel Close To Fixing Renewable Energy Mandate to Avoid Ballot Fight (Oregonian, Portland)

Low Snowpack Prompts USDA to Issue Early Water Warning (Yakima Herald-Republic, WA)

Tennessee Valley Authority Asks for Resignations, Retirements to Cut Expenses (Chattanooga Times-Free Press, TN)

Group: Protect Orcas in West Coast Waters (Associated Press)

Air Stagnation Advisory in Effect Until January 24 (National Weather Service, Seattle)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 17, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Power Planners Ponder the Northwest without a Nuclear Power Plant (Northwest Public Radio)

Net Neutrality Takes Big Hit from Federal Appeals Court (Washington Business Journal, DC)

Washington State Bill Would Vacate Fish Treaty Protest Convictions from ‘Fish Wars’ (Yakima Herald-Republic, WA)

The State of Washington State - Governor Inslee Calls for Statewide Minimum Wage Increase (KOMO-TV, Seattle, WA)

Interactive Maps - Mapping the American Carbon Footprint, Down to the Last Zip Code (The Energy Collective)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Rains Came Late, But Snowpack’s Not a Concern - January’s precipitation has already surpassed December’s total (Everett Herald, WA)

Salmon-Eating Wolverines Found for First Time on Island Off British Columbia’s Coast (The Province, Vancouver, BC)

Scammers Targeting Local Utility Customers (KATU-TV, Portland, OR)

Google to Buy Nest for $3.2B in Quest for the ‘Conscious Home’ (CNET News)

Op/Ed: America’s Most Underutilized Resource? Plain Old Telephone Poles (Washington Post)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 14, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

Seahawks Storm Watch - High Winds Bring Down Trees, Knock Out Power (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

Despite Recent Dryness, Water Supply Forecast Shows January-July Columbia Basin Runoff at 93 Percent (Columbia Basin Bulletin)

Chinook Salmon Help Bring Record Number of Eagles to Hanford (Tri-City Herald, WA)

After a Building Boom, Solar Energy’s Prospects Now Aren’t As Sunny (Los Angeles Times, CA)

Washington State Lawmakers Return for 60-Day Session (Associated Press)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 13, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 9, 2014

Lewis County PUD Proposes Rate Increase (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CHEHALIS, WA) -- Electricity rates could be going up for Lewis County PUD customers.  PUD is proposing an increase that would see the monthly bill go up by about $6 for customers using 1,100 kilowatt hours a month.  The proposed rate increase is a result of Bonneville Power Administration’s increase in wholesale rates to utilities in October 2013.  If Lewis county PUD approves the rate increase, it would begin March 1, 2014.  PUD is holding public hearings on January 28 in Chehalis and on February 4 in Morton on the proposed rate increase.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Washington State Arsenic Tests Show Puget Sound Geoduck Clams Safe to Eat - Officials hope for lifting of China’s import ban (Associated Press)

Arctic Air Eases Its Grip on Much of the U-S (Associated Press)

While the U-S is in Deep Freeze - ‘Highly Significant’ Heatwave Smashes Australian Records (Sydney Morning Herald, Australia)

January is Best Chance for Pacific Northwest Snow (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Eugene Water & Electric Board Selling Idaho Power Plant - Board votes to put the northern Idaho site on the market to reduce the amount of surplus electricity (Eugene Register-Guard, OR)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 8, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Is Climate Change Causing the ‘Polar Vortex’? (U-S News & World Report)

Clark Public Utilities Bills Up Slightly as Rebate Decreases - Average customer will see increase of about $5 a month (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Satellite Tagging Reveals Info on Endangered Orcas (Associated Press)

Slow Broadband Internet Speeds Vex Nation’s Schools (Wall Street Journal)

Editorial: Let the Wind Subsidy Blow Away - Congress shouldn’t renew corporate welfare to this politically favored industry (Chicago Tribune, IL)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 7, 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014

Offshore ‘Click Farms’ Big Business for Those Trying to Make Money from Duping Social Media (Associated Press)

East Sand Cormorant Colony Increasing; Estuary’s Single Most Significant Source of Smolt Mortality (Columbia Basin Bulletin)

Apple Plans Solar Array at Central Oregon Data Center, Says Prineville Mayor (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Michigan: Lansing Utility Chief under Fire after Storm Response – Went on New York Vacation (WZZM, Grand Rapids, MI)

Efforts to Improve the Efficiency of Natural Gas Furnaces Have Chilled (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 6, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014

Heavy Snow, Dangerous Cold Bite Northeastern U-S (Reuters)

TransAlta’s Downsizing Pinches Lewis County Revenue (Seattle Times, WA - Paywall Advisory)

Idaho Solar Developer Fights to Keep Project Alive (Associated Press)

Op/Ed: Don't Dilute Oregon's Renewable Power Standards (Oregonian, Portland)

Washington State Residents May See Battling Gun Initiatives Before Legislature (Associated Press)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 3, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Olympic Mountain Snowpack Running Low at Just 24 Percent of Normal Levels (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

Oregon: Dry Run - Eugene-Springfield Has Driest Year on Record (Eugene Register-Guard, OR)

Court Zaps Idaho Falls' Plan to Build Power Lines Using Eminent Domain (Courthouse News Service)

Editorial: Wind Energy Tax Credit Has Blown Its Course; Let Expiration Stand (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

Cold Facts: More Record Lows than Highs in USA in 2013 (USA Today)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for January 2, 2013