Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Felon Arrested for Plotting to Blow Up Shelton Wal-Mart Store & Gas Stations as Diversion for Bank Robberies (Mason Web-TV, Shelton, WA)

Washington State Governor Signs Order for Climate Change Process (Associated Press)

Invenergy Completes Purchase of 620 Megawatt Power Plant in Grays Harbor County (KBKW Radio, Aberdeen, WA)

Puget Sound Energy’s New High Capacity Power Line in Thurston County (South Sound Business Examiner, WA)

Report: Washington State 911 Calls Were Stuck in Colorado (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WA)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 30, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

$40,000 Damage in Yakima County Utility Vandalism (Associated Press)

U-S Supreme Court Revives EPA Rule on Cross-State Pollution (Associated Press)

Portland General Electric Earnings Up 12 Percent; Construction of Three New Power Plants on Track (Oregonian, Portland)

Oregon: Fuel-Cell Maker ClearEdge Power Lays Off 268, May File for Bankruptcy (Sustainable Business Oregon)

New Microsoft Data Center in Iowa Offers a Billion-Dollar Lesson (Seattle Times, WA - Paywall Advisory)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 29, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 28, 2014

It's Spring in Shelton - Mama and Her Ducklings Take a Stroll at Mason PUD 3's Operations Center

(SHELTON, WA) -- The duck family took a stroll today at the Mason PUD 3 Johns Prairie operations center in Shelton. A quick crossing to check out the building, and then it's right back home: the stormwater collection pond at the center of the parking area. Very Cute!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Washington State Tribes Ask for Action on Climate Change (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA - Paywall Advisory)

Tribes Optimistic About Returning Salmon to Upper Columbia Basin (Northwest Public Radio)

Wire Thieves Cut Service to 20,000 Comcast Customers in Snohomish County (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

The Politics of Water: Portland’s Fight over Its Drinking Supply Is Constant & Contentious (Oregonian, Portland)

Explosion in Allyn (Mason Web TV, Shelton, WA)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 25, 2014

Washington State's Lowland Lakes Fishing Season Opens Saturday (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CENTRALIA, WA) -- Thousands of anglers will be out this weekend for the beginning of the lowland lakes fishing season which starts tomorrow (Saturday.)  The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has stocked several hundred lowland lakes across the state with nearly 16.5 million trout and kokanee.  WDFW director Phil Anderson says the lowland lakes season opener is the biggest fishing day of the year.  He says lakes in every county are well stocked, so there should be good opportunities close to home.  To participate, anglers must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license valid through March 31, 2015. Licenses can be purchased at hundreds of license dealers across the state or online at the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Snake River - Little Goose Dam’s Lock Reopens Ahead of Schedule (Walla Walla Union Bulletin, WA)

Linda Gott, Mason PUD 3 Commissioner, Elected to Energy Northwest Executive Board (Mason County PUD 3, Shelton, WA)

Biologists Watching Fish Runs after Deadly Oso Slide (Associated Press)

Complicating "Coal by Wires" Regulation, Minnesota Court Strikes Down Greenhouse Gas Regulation (GTH Energy & Natural Resources Law Blog)

FCC Revisits the Idea of a Shared “Innovation” Band for Broadband Use (GigaOM)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 24, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Growing Support for Hydropower as Renewable, Most Practical Energy Resource for the Pacific Northwest (Northwest RiverPartners, Portland, OR)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- On Earth Day especially, it’s important to recognize that the Northwest is a unique region where hydropower provides 90 percent of our renewable energy and keeps the air clean. New poll results show a growing awareness of hydro’s benefits to the region’s environment and economy.

When asked, 3 out of 4 Northwest residents identified hydropower as a clean, renewable energy resource. Moreover, a majority of residents (54 percent) consider hydropower to be the region’s most practical energy resource right now. Wind energy comes in at a distant second at 15 percent, with solar energy finishing third at 6 percent, according to the poll conducted by Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall (DHM Research) for Northwest RiverPartners.

 “Wind and solar energy tend to get more attention, but Northwest residents need to know that hydro is what keeps the lights on,” said Terry Flores, executive director of Northwest RiverPartners. “Earth Day reminds us that clean, renewable hydropower is the Northwest’s special legacy and the reason our carbon footprint is half that of other parts of the nation.”

The 75 percent of Northwest residents who identify hydropower as clean, renewable energy is a slight increase from early 2013, when DHM conducted a similar poll. The percentage who views hydropower as the most practical resource also increased, from 47 to 54 percent of respondents. And 7 in 10 Northwest residents continue to believe that their state legislatures and Congress should declare hydro as a renewable energy source.

Flores credited her organization’s “CleanHydro” ( awareness effort, now in its second year, for helping to increase public support for and understanding of hydropower and the multiple benefits of the Columbia and Snake river system. Despite progress, there is more work to be done, especially among younger people and transplants to the Northwest who are less familiar with hydro’s benefits, Flores said.

“Many people simply have not grown up with the dams and may not have a complete understanding of the rich resources our rivers provide,” Flores says. “The goal of CleanHydro is to educate them about the Columbia and Snake rivers and the benefits of the clean, renewable energy they generate.”

DHM conducted the online poll of 1,200 residents of Idaho, Oregon and Washington State in late February. Additional findings in the poll show an appreciation for dams beyond the benefits of hydroelectric power. 74 percent of Pacific Northwest residents believe dams provide vital flood control that protects lives, private property and the economy of local communities. 78 percent say irrigation for farms that feed the Northwest and beyond is another fundamental asset provided by dams.

When it comes to the Snake River dams, specifically, the poll shows that a majority of residents agree they are critical to the Northwest. 60 percent of residents consider the four federal dams critical to the region and agree that removing them is an extreme measure that would do more harm than good. Only 11 percent indicated support for removing the dams. 29 percent of respondents answered, “don’t know” when asked about the issue.

“These poll results demonstrate significant public support for the Snake River dams and for hydropower in general,” Flores said. “But they also show us that we can and should do more to spread awareness about the multiple benefits of hydropower to the Northwest, not just on Earth Day, but all year-round.”

Nuclear Debate on Clark Public Utilities Agenda (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Pacific Gas & Electric Pleads Innocent in Criminal Case Connected to Fatal San Bruno Explosion (San Jose Mercury News, CA)

Searching the Planet to Find Power for the Cloud (National Public Radio)

U-S Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers Seeking Re-Election for Sixth Term (KHQ-TV, Spokane, WA)

President Obama to Survey Deadly Mudslide Site, Meet with Survivors (Associated Press)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 22, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lawmakers Seek Action on Pacific Northwest River Treaty (Electric Co-op Today)

First Nuisance Sea Lions of 2014 Killed at Bonneville Dam (Northwest Public Radio)

First Step of Wanapum Dam Repair Work Begins (Yakima Herald-Republic, WA)

Fecal Bacteria Threatens Puget Sound Beaches – Two in Mason County (KOMO-TV, Seattle, WA)

Fuels from Corn Waste Not Better than Gas “…worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term…” (Associated Press)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 21, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

U-S Senator Murray, Congressman Hastings Call for Action on Columbia River Treaty (Tri-City Herald, WA)

Pot, Power & Pollution: The Overlooked Impacts of Marijuana Legalization on Utilities & the Environment (GTH Energy & Natural Resources Law Blog)

Klamath Basin Restoration Bill Headed to Congress with Support of Tribes & Ranchers (Northwest Public Radio)

Chelan PUD Wraps Up Work on Rocky Reach Generating Turbines (KPQ Radio, Wenatchee, WA)

Libraries Seek High-Speed Broadband (NY Times)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 18, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Portland Will Flush 38 Million Gallons of Water After Man Urinates in Mt. Tabor Reservoir (Oregonian, Portland)

Despite the Drawdown, Fish Are Headed Past Wanapum Dam (Yakima Herald-Republic, WA)

Jefferson County PUD: A Year of Power - The big switch: What went right, wrong, what needs changing (Port Townsend Leader, WA)

Spokane to Take Over Waste-To-Energy Plant Operations (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

Google Fiber Reaches Preliminary Franchise Agreement with Portland (Oregonian, Portland)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 17, 2014

Lewis County PUD Safety Coordinator Wins Award (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CHEHALIS, WA) -- Lewis County PUD’s Safety Coordinator Jim Womble has received the Northwest Public Power Association’s prestigious Career Commitment to Safety Award.  The award focuses on the importance of safety in the utility industry.  It recognizes one person each year that has outstanding proficiency in safety, demonstrated leadership in safety in his or her utility and has made a significant contribution to safety within the industry during their career.  Lewis County PUD says Womble was presented with the award at the recent NWPPA Engineering and Operation’s Conference.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

EPA Scores Big Win to Limit Mercury in Power Plants (Politico)

Snohomish PUD Proposes Alternative to Dam on Skykomish River (Everett Herald, WA)

Nuclear Regulators to Discuss Columbia Generating Station in Richland (KEPR-TV, Tri-Cities, WA)

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Decline In U-S for Second Year in a Row (The Business Journals)

Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission Investigating 911 Outage (Northwest Public Radio)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 16, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Portland General Electric to Take Bigger Stake in Boardman Coal Plant; Strikes Deal to Keep Buying Hydropower from Tribes (Oregonian, Portland)

Washington State Preparing to Truck Salmon around Wanapum Dam (KEPR-TV, Tri-Cities, WA)

Drawdown of Columbia River Reservoir Creates Problems, Opportunities (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

Pot Fields in Columbia Basin, Yakima Valley Might Lack Irrigation Water (Tri-City Herald, WA)

Heartbleed Bug Fixes Threaten to Cause Major Internet Disruptions in Coming Weeks (Washington Post)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 15, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Oregon: Apple Acquires Hydroelectric Project near Its Prineville Data Center (Oregonian, Portland)

Shooting May Be Cause of Mason PUD 3’s March 28th Outage (Mason Web-TV, Shelton, WA)

High River Flows Pose Challenges to Western Montana Dams, Bonneville Power Administration Says (Montana Standard, Butte)

Moving Spring Chinook past Columbia River Dam Drawdowns to Cost $7 Million (Seattle Times, WA - Paywall Advisory)

Battle On to Bring Broadband Internet to Seattle’s Beacon Hill (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 14, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Construction of Central Ferry-Lower Monumental Transmission Line begins in May - New line will bring more renewable wind energy west (Bonneville Power Administration)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Bonneville Power Administration will begin construction of the Central Ferry-Lower Monumental Transmission Line Project in May. The new line is expected to carry over 800 additional megawatts of renewable wind energy, enough to power about half a million Northwest homes when the wind is blowing. BPA will hold two “Meet the Builder” open houses in late April.

The 38-mile, 500-kilovolt line in Washington will connect the new Central Ferry Substation in Garfield County to the existing Lower Monumental Substation in Walla Walla County. It is expected to be energized in December 2015.

“Building the right facilities in the right place at the right time is a key principle of our long-term transmission services planning process,” said Richard Shaheen, BPA vice president for Engineering and Technical Services. “Specifically, this project will add critical transmission grid capacity, support new transmission requests from generators in the Snake River area and be a welcome boost to local and regional economies.”

For more than 75 years, BPA has been the major developer of energy infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest. Electric utilities and electric power consumers depend on BPA to maintain reliable transmission service at low rates and meet growing demands for electricity.

Over the past several years, numerous power generation projects, including large wind projects, have requested interconnection with the BPA system in the Snake River area. After studying the transmission system and identifying where capacity is available, BPA determined that there is not enough available transmission capacity to accommodate the requests. Building the Central Ferry-Lower Monumental project will allow BPA to meet the requests for transmission and allow additional power to flow between areas east of the Cascade Mountains to heavily populated areas in the west.

In August 2011, the Central Ferry-Lower Monumental Transmission Line Project was put on hold because of uncertainties regarding the need for the new line. However, in August 2013, BPA notified customers, landowners and stakeholders that it was moving forward with construction of the line. Existing customer need coupled with an agreement for Portland General Electric to acquire Phase 2 of Puget Sound Energy’s Lower Snake River Wind Project, which PGE renamed the Tucannon River Wind Farm, required construction activities to begin this spring.

The Tucannon River Wind Farm is a key infrastructure investment that supports PGE’s balanced energy portfolio. Tucannon River will help PGE satisfy Oregon’s renewable energy standard, which requires the utility to supply 15 percent of the electricity its customers use from renewable resources by 2015 and 25 percent by 2025.

In early 2011, BPA completed an environmental impact statement and preliminary engineering design for the project. BPA issued a record of decision to build the line in March 2011. Since then, BPA has conducted additional environmental review of some access road modifications and a material yard.

The contractor hired to build the new line is MYR Group, a leading specialty contractor serving the electrical infrastructure market throughout the United States. It has the experience and expertise to complete electrical installations of any type and size. MYR Group’s power line capabilities include transmission, overhead and underground distribution and substation projects.

Two “Meet the Builder” open houses are being held so the public can learn more about the construction process and schedule, speak with representatives from the MYR Group and meet the BPA project team.

For more information, visit the project website at

April 22, 20144-7 p.m.
Best Western Plus, 7 E. Oak St., Walla Walla, Wash.

April 23, 2014
4-7 p.m.
Best Western Plus, Dayton Hotel and Suites, 507 E. Main St., Dayton, Wash.

California: Pacific Gas & Offers $250,000 Reward for Information on Attack on Silicon Valley Phone Lines, Power Grid (Casta.Net)

Power Grid Threat Report Mishandled, Feds Say (Associated Press)

Pacific Northwest Water Supply Rebounds Across Most of Northwest after March Storms (Northwest Public Radio)

Federal Judges Deny Request for Emergency Injunction against Steelhead Planting in Elwha River (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

Facebook to Strip Messaging Out of Its Main App (Washington Post)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 11, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bonneville Power Administration E-Mails Show Former Administrator Steve Wright Was in the Loop on Hiring Problems (Oregonian, Portland)

911 Service Restored in Washington after Statewide Outage (KCPQ-TV, Seattle, WA)

Is Internet Access a Right? Seattle Considers Turning Internet into a Utility (Puget Sound Business Journal, WA)

Bonneville Power Administration: Water Volume Looking Good; Will Runoff Shape Follow Suit? (Bonneville Power Administration)

New Quotas Clear Way for Banner Summer Salmon Fishing in Pacific Ocean (KPLU Radio, Tacoma, WA)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

USA’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2014 – Includes White River in Washington State & Clearwater/Lochsa Rivers in Idaho (USA Today)

Equipment Rupture Caused Eastern Washington State Natural Gas Explosion (KOMO-TV, Seattle, WA)

Foundation Not a Contributing Factor in Wanapum Dam Fracture (Grant PUD, Ephrata, WA)

Gophers Found in Thurston & Pierce Counties to be Added to Endangered Species List (Olympian - Paywall Advisory)

Passwords Vulnerable After Security Flaw Found (Associated Press)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 9, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Pacific Northwest Has Seen 130 Quakes over the Past Two Weeks (KGW-TV, Portland, OR)

Montana: Expert Says NorthWestern Dam Purchase Could Cost Ratepayers Up to $800 Million Extra (The Missoulian, MT)

Grays Harbor PUD Says Customers Still Getting Scam Phone Calls (KBKW Radio, Aberdeen, WA)

Oregon Wave Energy Project Sinks (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Mining Giant Quits Controversial Bristol Bay Project in Alaska (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WA)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 8, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Governor Inslee Approves Supplemental Washington State Appropriations Budget; Includes Nuclear Power Study (Washington PUD Association)

Under Revised Quake Estimates, Dozens of Nuclear Reactors Face Costly Safety Analyses (NY Times)

94 Utilities Honored with National Award for Reliable Electric Operations (Kudos to Mason PUD 3, Clark Public Utilities, Clallam County PUD & Grays Harbor PUD for their awards - American Public Power Association)

Emergency Downgraded at Wanapum Dam (KOMO-TV, Seattle, WA)

Biomass Plant Problems at Nippon Disrupt Air Monitoring Schedule in Port Angeles (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 7, 2014

Mason PUD 3 Receives National Recognition for Reliable Electric Operations – Gets Highest Level of Distinction (Mason County PUD 3, Shelton, WA)

Mason PUD 3 has been designated as a diamond level utility in this year’s Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation from the American Public Power Association (APPA). The designation recognizes PUD 3 for providing its customers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service. PUD 3 is one of 94 of the nation’s more than 2,000 public power utilities to earn the RP3 recognition and one of 29 to reach the diamond level.

Brent McKinney, manager, electric transmission and distribution at City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri, and chair of APPA’s RP3 Review Panel, announced the award today (April 7). The three levels of the designation are diamond (the highest), platinum and gold.

The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that excel in four key areas: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria within each category are based on sound business practices and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.

“RP3 utilities are providing a high level of service to communities all over the country,” said McKinney, “These 94 designees stand out as models of safe, reliable and forward-thinking utility operations.” The utilities that earned the designation this year join 90 that received it last year.

“We’re honored to receive the RP3 designation,” said Annette Creekpaum, PUD 3 manager. “Our utility staff works hard to serve this community with safe, reliable and cost-based service. RP3 represents a much-appreciated recognition of this effort. We’re pleased that along with the consistent recognition of the excellence of our financial management, we can now celebrate the independent certification of the excellence of our operational reliability.”

Other Washington State public utilities who received RP3 designation today include:
APPA is the national organization representing more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community- and state- owned electric utilities. It is located in Washington, D.C.

(RP3 is a registered service mark of APPA)

Centralia City Light Begins Tree-Trimming (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CENTRALIA, WA) -- For the next several months, residents in parts of Centralia will notice crews trimming tree branches and limbs near power lines.  Rick Evans with Centralia City Light says it’s part of the local utility’s annual tree-trimming program.  Evans says this year the contract tree-trimming crews from Asplundh will be working in the Centralia City Light service area east of I-5 and south of Reynolds Avenue.  Evans says there could be minor traffic impacts from time to time.  The tree-trimming begins this week and will continue through the end of September.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Governor Inslee Approves Supplemental Washington State Appropriations Budget; Includes Nuclear Power Study (Washington PUD Association)

(OLYMPIA, WA) -- Governor Inslee signed the supplemental appropriations budget this morning. The budget contained language authorizing a joint select Nuclear Energy Task Force to study the generation of energy in the region through the use of nuclear power.

Dale Atkinson testified twice on behalf of Energy Northwest in support of this legislation. The American Nuclear Society, the Nuclear Energy Institute and IBEW submitted support letters, and WPUDA joined Energy Northwest in supporting legislation calling for the study. The original bill did not advance to a House vote by the legislative deadline despite strong bipartisan support in both houses, but Senator Ericksen, the bill’s sponsor, inserted the nuclear energy task force language into the supplemental appropriations bill in conference committee.

Grant PUD Continues Work on Wanapum Dam Fix - Unclear when reservoir will return to normal levels (Columbia Basin Herald, Moses Lake, WA)

Port Townsend Paper Corp. Drops Biomass Expansion Plans (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

City of Tacoma, Power Union Reach Tentative Agreement (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA - Paywall Advisory)

Columbia Anglers to Get More Time for Spring Chinook (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

For the Tech-Savvy with a Need for Speed, a Limited Choice of Towns with Fiber (NY Times)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 4, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Could Steelhead Fishing End in Order to Save Them? Lawsuit: Steelhead hatcheries central to sport fishery hurting endangered wild stocks (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WA)

Port Angeles to Pay Nippon $200,000 over Disagreement about Utility Tax on Electricity (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

Pacific Northwest Hydro Generation Output in March Up Sharply Year on Year (Platts)

Mayor Says Seattle City Light, Police & Fire Not Paying Women Enough (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Gallup Poll Finds Majority Favor Energy Conservation over Production (The Hill, Washington, DC)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 3, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pacific Gas & Electric Criminally Charged in Fatal Natural Gas Pipeline Blast (Associated Press)

Government Says New Rule Will Make Power-Plant Work Safer (Associated Press)

Ocean Power Technologies Pulls the Plug in Oregon (ReNews)

Oregon Data Centers Win Praise from Greenpeace, a Former Skeptic (Oregonian, Portland)

'Threatened' Steelhead Trout Filling Hood Canal River – Biologists want to keep the river’s name secret (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 2, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Portland General Electric Takes Breather on New Power Plants Until It Figures Out How to Replace Boardman (Oregonian, Portland)

FCC to Free Airwaves for Wi-Fi & Wireless Broadband (NY Times)

Williams Northwest Pipeline Explosion Investigation Underway (KNDO/KNDU-TV, Tri Cities, WA)

U-S Senate Confirms Los Angeles Attorney to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (Courthouse News Service)

Oso Landslide: Inslee Asks Obama for Federal Aid; New Search Teams Arrive (Everett Herald, WA)

Energy News Digest Word Cloud for April 1, 2014