Friday, October 21, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Environmental Effects of Columbia, Snake River Dams Scrutinized (Seattle Times, WA – Paywall Advisory)

News Release: America’s Dams Are in Disrepair; CAP Report Calls for New Thinking on Future of Dam Infrastructure and River Health (Center for American Progress)

No on I-732; Carbon Tax Rough Draft Needs Work (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Homeowners with Solar Chose Generators Over Batteries in Survey (American Public Power Association)

Comcast Ready to Roll Out New Pricing Structure in Washington State (KHQ-TV, Spokane, WA)

Monday, October 17, 2016

What the Heck Went Wrong with the Storm Forecast?!? (KOMO-TV, Seattle, WA)

Irrigators Propose Giant Hydroelectric Project at Banks Lake Near Grand Coulee Dam (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, WA)

Puget Sound Energy Trades in Gas, Electricity, Political Clout (Northwest Public Radio)

Washington Energy Agency Overestimated Carbon Tax Impacts on Power Prices (Utility Dive – “only 5.3 percent?” These guys have obviously not had the pleasure of a customer blasting them over a three percent increase)

Northwest Utilities Amp Up New Business Line of Charging Electric Cars (Northwest Public Radio)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Screen Captures for Wednesday and Saturday

Remnants of Typhoon Will Make for Wild Seattle Weather This Weekend (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Smell Test: Will Initiative 732 Carbon Tax Spike Household Electricity Costs? (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Oregon & Washington State Offer Top Tax Breaks to Data Centers, Report Finds (Oregonian, Portland)

Hurricane Matthew: Substations, Transmission Lines Remain Source of Major Outages (Florence News & Review, SC)

Political Tornado Swirls in District That Could Determine Control of Washington State House (Northwest Public Radio)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Take Out the Dams? Congressional Candidates Jayapal & Walkinshaw Wade in a Bit Unprepared (Seattle Times, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Seattle Blows Off Wells Fargo on $100 Million City Light Bond Financing (Seattle Post Intelligencer, WA)

Muni Broadband: Can Tacoma Make Electric Customers Pay for a Bigger, Better Click? (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Report: Mason County Marijuana Sales Soar in a Year (KMAS Radio, Shelton, WA)

Could Washington State Pave the Way for Carbon Taxes? (Christian Science Monitor)

Friday, October 7, 2016

U-S Ready to Start Talks on Columbia River Treaty (U-S Senator Maria Cantwell)

Hurricane Matthew: Some 600,000 Florida Homes without Power Due to Storm (Reuters)

Washington State Carbon-Tax Initiative Pencils Out Nicely for Boeing (Seattle Times, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Pumped Hydro: Oregon to Transform Lakes into Batteries to Charge Electricity Grid (PBS Newshour)

Fall Chinook Run Size Downgraded for Fourth Straight Week – Early Run Coho Far Below Average (Columbia Basin Bulletin)

U-S Ready to Start Talks on Columbia River Treaty (U-S Senator Maria Cantwell)

Conversation with Secretary of State John Kerry is the culmination of years-long effort
State Department finalizes C-175, authorizing talks with Canada

(WASHINGTON, DC) -- Today, in a call with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States is ready to start talks with Canada on the Columbia River Treaty. The call comes just hours after the State Department finalized Circular 175, authorizing talks with Canada to modernize the treaty.  Cantwell has for years been urging the State Department to begin the negotiation process.

Updating the Columbia River Treaty will present exciting new economic opportunities for Washington State, as well as providing a new focus on protecting the river’s ecosystem and addressing flood control.

The U.S. and Canada will work together to find win-win solutions to manage the river, looking to cooperate on critical clean energy solutions such as smart grids with intermittent power, grid-scale storage, and clean infrastructure. The Treaty has not been updated since it was first ratified in 1964.

The government of Canada had refused to begin talks until the U.S. finalized its negotiating parameters, which are laid out in a document called a Circular 175.

"The United States is officially ready to move forward on negotiating a new Columbia River Treaty‎," said Senator Maria Cantwell after hearing the good news from Secretary of State John Kerry. "A new agreement is critical to so many aspects of our Northwest economy. I congratulate the administration on completing the Circular 175 negotiating terms and hope that now the Canadian Government will come to the table and start detailing what a new hydro-agreement will look like."

The Circular 175 is based on regional recommendations developed by stakeholders in the Columbia River Basin. The recommendations balance ecosystem functions and community concerns including hydropower generation and flood control.

Cantwell has been on the forefront in the charge to modernize the treaty. Most recently, the Senator led 21 of her Senate and House colleagues in a letter to Secretary Kerry pressing his agency to hasten its finalization of the Circular 175. In March of this year, she spoke to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the need to move forward with negotiations. The Senator continued her push in June, meeting with Canadian Ambassador David MacNaughton to discuss progress on the Canadian side. Last year, Cantwell sent a letter to President Obama with 25 other members of the Pacific Northwest Congressional delegation, urging the Administration to move forward with a strategy for addressing the treaty. In 2014, Cantwell joined with 25 of her colleagues to press for action on moving the process forward.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Is a $15 Billion Threat Headed to Florida “…Twelve U-S power generators, including two nuclear plants, are in the storm’s path…” (Bloomberg News)

Columnist: Will Federal Agencies’ Review of Columbia, Snake Dams Lead to Removal? (Idaho Statesman, Boise)

Solar Supporters Still Troubled by Oregon PUC Recommendations (Portland Business Journal, OR)

U-S Panel: Tagging Dart Was Source of Infection That Contributed to Orca’s Death (KCPQ-TV, Seattle/Tacoma, WA)

Why Some California Cannabis Growers Oppose Legalization (Christian Science Monitor)

September Warmer, Wetter Than Average (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CENTRALIA, WA) -- The weather in September in the Twin Cities was very close to the averages for the month.

KELA/KMNT weatherman Dean Dahlin says we were slightly warmer than average for the month with 58.8 degrees which is 4-tenths of a degree above average.  For the month we received 2.45 inches of rain which is 35-hundredths of an inch above the average.

Dean says October starts to get cooler and wetter, with an average temperature of 51 degrees and 3-and-a third inches of rain.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Utilities Taking Longer on Rooftop Solar Applications (Politico, Morning Energy)

(WASHINGTON, DC) -- A utility and solar interest group-funded survey of installers finds U.S. utilities are taking longer to process rooftop solar interconnection requests.

While some utilities, such larger ones in California, process applications in a little as one day, many utilities in 2015 took an average of 67 days to process requests, up from 46 days in 2014, said the report by EQ Research.

The report suggested lawmakers and regulators can help utilities improve those timelines by requiring them to create online application and fee payment processes, and by setting reasonable processing deadlines with reporting requirements to track performance.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Inside the Messy Fight Over Biomass (Politico)

(WASHINGTON, DC) -- It sounds like a simple question, but it's proven anything but: Should wood pellets, paper mill residues or dead and decaying trees be considered a carbon-neutral source of electricity? As Pro's Esther Whieldon reports, the EPA has spent five years trying to determine whether burning trees to generate electricity can help power plants reduce their carbon footprint but still hasn't reached an answer.

Now lawmakers are prodding the agency to deliver an answer that would favor the biomass industry, including through pending energy and appropriations bills that may receive more attention when Congress returns after the election. Industry supporters say national policy declaring biomass to be carbon neutral would give the technology a much needed boost because states would know they could include the fuel source in their compliance plans for environmental regulations, such as the Clean Power Plan. "I believe the science is firmly on our side that biomass is carbon neutral," Rep. Bruce Westerman , co-chair of the Congressional Biomass Caucus, tells Esther.

Environmental advocates are fighting congressional efforts to declare biomass carbon neutral while the science is still out at EPA, and they warn lawmakers risk repeating some of the same mistakes that they made more than a decade ago with corn ethanol. "It doesn't really lend itself to sweeping legislation about something like biomass carbon neutrality because it is so feedstock specific and it really is best left to the EPA, which is charged with determining the carbon impacts of these different fuels," Sasha Stashwick, a senior advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Southern California on heightened alert for major earthquake; Nevada experts watch closely (KATU-TV, Portland, OR)

Industry Lawsuits Mount Against Washington State’s New Carbon Cap – Including Big Electric Utilities (Northwest Public Radio)

Nation’s First Carbon Tax on the Ballot in Washington (Spokesman Review, Spokane, WA)

National Hydropower Association Responds to Report on Reservoir Greenhouse Gas Emissions (North Central Washington Life, East Wenatchee, WA)

Solar Panels That You Can Walk & Drive Across Debut in North Idaho (Northwest Public Radio)

Chehalis River Basin Report Released (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CHEHALIS, WA) -- As part of a community effort to restore the Chehalis River Basin and put it on a path to recovery, the Washington Department of Ecology has completed a draft environmental report, officially called a programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.

The environmental review evaluated four basin-wide options that were developed and submitted to Ecology by the community to address flood damage and aquatic species habitat.

There will be a public hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 6 PM at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis.