Seattle’s 2015 city council elections may be different. With the adoption of the hybrid district/at large system in 2013, seven of nine council seats will be decided by only one-seventh of the city’s population. Furthermore, with as many as nine candidates running in some districts, the votes are heavily divided. Suddenly, a few thousand votes could feasibly get a candidate to the General Election in the fall.
The president unveiled the plan at the White House Monday, calling it the “single most important step” the U.S. has taken to combat a major global threat. The Obama administration itself estimated the emissions limits will cost $8.4 billion annually by 2030, though the actual price won’t be clear until states decide how they would reach their targets. Republicans cast the measure requiring states to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent by 2030 as unnecessary and costly White House overreach that will raise energy costs for Americans.
Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday scrapped a major rewrite of the state’s clean water rules, opening the door for the federal government to impose its standard on the state. Chris McCabe worried the EPA could set a standard that businesses cannot meet. That could cause them to lose permits needed to discharge into waterways.
The much-disputed lease of Port of Seattle property as a base for Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet was affirmed Friday by a King County Superior Court judge who ruled that the Port didn’t need to conduct an environmental review to use Terminal 5 for that purpose. The decision comes just two weeks before a hearing examiner will consider a similar challenge to the lease by the city of Seattle.
With state gas taxes now up to 44.5 cents a gallon, adding in the current federal gas tax of 18.4 cents, the total per gallon gas tax in Washington is now 62.9 cents. Next summer, the tax will increase an additional 4.9 cents a gallon, putting the total state tax at 49.4 cents — which based on current rates, would make it the second-highest gas tax in the nation.
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