Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mary Jensen Named General Counsel at Bonneville Power Administration (Bonneville Power Administration)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- Mary Jensen, who has worked in the Bonneville Power Administration General Counsel’s office since 2002, has been named its general counsel. She takes over after managing the office for a year as acting general counsel.

“Mary stepped in and helped BPA work through a number of complex legal matters while acting as general counsel for the past year,” said BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer. “She is first the BPA general counsel who reports directly to the administrator. I look forward to continuing to work with her to further enhance BPA’s legal risk management and compliance.”

While serving as acting general counsel, Jensen guided BPA’s Office of General Counsel through a major reorganization, instituted a new office policy on legal advice, and collaborated with the Department of Energy general counsel in creating national guidelines for power marketing administrations in states where marijuana sales are lawful under state statutes. She also instituted new processes that enable faster response times to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act.

“The Bonneville Power Administration serves an incredibly important purpose in the Northwest,” Jensen said. “I am honored to serve as its general counsel and lead the legal staff that supports our efforts to keep our assets delivering value to the region.”

Jensen has specialized in legal issues involving the provision of transmission service at Bonneville and was promoted to manage that legal section in 2008. Before joining BPA in 2002, she worked at the U.S. Office of the Solicitor in Phoenix, Ariz., advising the Bureau of Indian Affairs regarding operations of its federally-owned electric utilities that provide service in Arizona.

Preceding her federal service, she worked as a prosecutor in Tucson, Ariz., handling felony cases including vehicular offenses, elder abuse and homicide. Jensen is a graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law. Her son is a third-generation journeyman lineman, who lives in Missouri with his wife and their five children.

The Office of General Counsel provides legal expertise that supports BPA programs through legal advice and representation, including but not limited to the general areas of transmission, natural resources, power, lands, federal resources and treaties, generation and finance, personnel, and ratemaking.

Probe of Back-Channel Dealing Continues at California Public Utilities Commission (Sacramento Bee, CA)

Governor's Signature Could Trigger Data Center Boom in Rural Oregon (Oregonian, Portland)

Washington State Attorney General Tells High Court: Nebraska, Oklahoma Shouldn't Pick on Colorado Pot Law (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WA)

Seattle Mayor Bans City Funding for Indiana Travel (KCPQ-TV, Seattle, WA)

Editorial: Thumbs Up To Benton PUD’s Community Solar Project (Tri-City Herald, WA)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

California: Pacific Gas & Electric Executives Reap Pay Raises despite Scandal, Indictment (San Jose Mercury News, CA)

Congressman Kilmer to Canadians: Get Off the Pot on Victoria Sewage (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WA)

Once-Starving Seals, Sea Lions Swarm Columbia River for Smelt, Salmon Runs (Oregonian, Portland)

Bill Would Allow Klickitat PUD to Sell Landfill Energy (Goldendale Sentinel, WA)

Washington State Environmentalists, Utilities at Odds over (State-Mandated) Green Power (Crosscut Seattle)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Oregon’s Swanson Group Purchases Olympic Panel Products (Joint News Release Swanson Group & Olympic Panel Products)

March 20, 2015

(Glendale, OR) -- Swanson Group Manufacturing LLC, a Pacific Northwest forest products company, announced today that it has acquired the assets of Olympic Panel Products LLC. Located in Shelton, Washington, Olympic Panel is the largest overlay plywood manufacturer in North America. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Swanson Group plans to relocate the Olympic Panel assets in 2016 to its state-of-the-art facility that will be constructed in Springfield, Oregon. The new facility will continue to produce Olympic-branded products. During the next twelve to eighteen months, Olympic Panel Products will continue to operate in Shelton to ensure a smooth transition for all customers and suppliers.

Swanson executives believe Springfield, Oregon is the right location to maintain the
Olympic Panel tradition of building the highest quality overlay products.

Swanson is building a world-class plywood and veneer manufacturing facility in a location with an excellent workforce and log supply, said Steve Swanson, President and CEO of Swanson Group. We have long been impressed with the quality and depth of Olympics overlay product line and believe that this acquisition fits perfectly with our goal to become the leading producer of overlay panels in North America.”

With our lease expiring next year, we needed to make a strategic, long-term decision and concluded that this transaction is the right step at this time,” said Kurt Liebich, CEO of New Wood Resources, which owns Olympic Panel. While Swanson’s new facility in Springfield will eventually be the place where Olympics products are made, nothing with respect to our operations will change until 2016.

New Wood Resources will continue to own Omak Wood Products in Omak, Washington, which produces softwood veneer for Northwest markets and Douglas fir plywood for specialty and commodity applications. New Wood Resources is also rebuilding the Winston Plywood & Veneer Mill in Louisville, Mississippi, which was destroyed by an F4 tornado in 2014.

About Swanson Group
Swanson Group is a family owned forest products company based in Southern Oregon, that operates two sawmills, two plywood & veneer facilities, and a utility lift helicopter services division. Since 1951, the Swanson family has manufactured dimension lumber, plywood, veneer and studs. The company has a long history of supporting its home states natural resources and purchases its raw materials from environmentally responsible sources. For more information, visit  www.swansongroup.biz.

About Olympic Panel Products
Part of New Wood Resources LLC, Olympic Panel Products is the largest manufacturer of overlay plywood in North America. With over 70 years of production and field application know-how, the companys panels are known in the industry as the finest overlay plywood panels in North America. Olympic Panel Products has one of the broadest product offerings available and is the market share leader in overlay plywood. For more information, visit  www.olypanel.com.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Friday, March 13, 2015

Inslee Cap-&-Trade Bill to Open Legislative Session’s Second Act (Washington State Wire, Olympia, WA)

Wanapum Pool Should Start Refilling within Six Weeks (Columbia Basin Herald, Moses Lake, WA)

It’s Official: Olympic Mountains – Source of Our Water Supply – In a State of Drought (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

Assembly Line Nuclear Reactors Are Quietly Building Steam in the Pacific Northwest (Motherboard)

Your Shower is Wasting Huge Amounts of Energy & Water – Here’s What You Can Do About It (Washington Post)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Bonneville Power Administration Not Worried about Low Snowpack (Northwest Public Radio)

Puget Sound Energy to Join Western Imbalance Market (Argus Media)

What Could Oregon’s Clean Fuels Bill Mean to Your Wallet? (KATU-TV, Portland, OR)

FCC’s Other Decision Aims to Spur Local Broadband (USA Today)

Washington State House Approves Marijuana Deals with Tribes (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday morning (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

This Sunday morning at 2 AM we begin Daylight Saving Time.  Captain Rick Mack with Riverside Fire Authority says when you set the time on your clocks ahead one hour, it’s a good time to replace the batteries in your home or business smoke detectors. Mack says if you have a working smoke detector in your home, it cuts your chance of dying in a fire in half. He also says it’s recommended by industry officials that you should replace your smoke detectors if they are more than 10 years old.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Klamath River Water Settlement Comes into Question – Tribes remain hopeful that Congress will approve legislation (Klamath Falls Herald & News, OR)

Low Snowpack Prompts Power Concerns for Washington State Utilities (KING-TV, Seattle, WA)

Oregon Governor: Investigate $12 Million in Tax Credits for Solar Scheme (Oregonian, Portland)

Two Arizona Solar Companies Admit Fraud “…sold products that did not result in a reduction of energy bills…” (Utility Dive)

Oregon House Sends Low-Carbon Fuels Bill to Governor (Associated Press)

EPA Rules Kick Up Wind Wars in the West (Politico)


EPA's upcoming climate rule for existing power plants has created a big divide on who gets the credit for green electricity - the state that produces it or the state that uses it? The debate has major stakes for populous, electricity-hungry states like California, already a major buyer of renewable and fossil-fuel power produced elsewhere. But it's just as important for states like Wyoming, which is both the nation's largest coal producer and its 12th-largest generator of wind power.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Top U-S Senate Republican Tells States: Ignore EPA Carbon Rules (Associated Press)

SolarCity sues Salt River Project over Increased Charges for Solar Customers (Utility Dive)

British Columbia: Peace River Dam Unions Won’t Be Blocked by BC Hydro, Says Christy Clark - Union has accused Crown corporation of trying to bar unions from organizing at project worksites (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Yakima River Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife; Cleanup Could Take Weeks (Associated Press)

Shelton Operations Remain Simpson (South Sound Business Examiner)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ex-Puget Sound Energy Employee Charged in Theft of $32,000 in Copper Wire (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA - Paywall Advisory)

Labour Group Objects to BC Hydro’s Plan for Non-Union Peace River Dam Workforce (Globe & Mail, Canada)

What Happens When a Solar Eclipse Takes 30GW of Solar Off-Line? (The Energy Collective)

Strong Runs of Columbia River Chinook Projected (KVEW-TV, Tri-Cities, WA)

Sale of Longview Simpson Mill to Interfor Corporation Finalized (Longview Daily News, WA)

Monday, March 2, 2015