Environment

A Sneak Peek of the Campaign to Come – Genetically Modified Food Initiative Gets a Hearing on the Way to the Ballot

I-522 Won’t be Passed by Legislature, Senate Ag Chairman Says – Means Washington Poised for Repeat of Unsuccessful California Campaign

Looks like it’s California all over again as Washington becomes the next battleground in a national environmental crusade to force labeling of foods made with genetically modified crops. After the Golden State narrowly rejected a labeling initiative last year, a near-identical measure has qualified for the Washington ballot. And following a courtesy hearing in the Senate that offered a preview of the campaign to come, the Ag chairman says there won’t be a vote in the Legislature on I-522 — making the public vote inevitable.

Food Processors Announce Opposition to I-522, Genetically Modified Crop Initiative

Consider this another sign that the debate over Initiative 522 is going to get awfully heated, awfully fast. The Northwest Food Processors Association has delivered its opening salvo against the measure, which would require the labeling of seed and food with genetically modified DNA. It was a biggie in California last year, and it’s probably coming to a ballot near you.

“What’s at Stake is the Fabric of Civilization”

With these words Congressman-Elect Denny Heck urged his supporters in Thurston County on Tuesday night to educate and activate everyone on the need to address climate change. Although generally pessimistic that the issue will be addressed in the new 113th Congress, he was optimistic that the “fiscal cliff” budget standoff will be resolved in a reasonable manner.

Governor Releases Ocean Acidification Report

On Tuesday the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification released its final Report, “Ocean Acidification: From Knowledge to Action, Washington State’s Strategic Response,” along with recommendations.

Tri-Cities Chamber Leads Effort To Stop Unnecessary Electricity Rate Increases

On September 27, Lori Mattson, President of the Tri-City Regional Chamber, kicked off the formation of a new coalition, Citizens for P.O.W.E.R. The coalition of regional businesses, governments, and individuals has been formed to stop unnecessary utility rate increases that are the result of unintended consequences in the state Energy Independence Act.

Blistering State Audit Says Regulatory Reform Efforts Have Barely Scratched the Surface

After Decades of Talk, Still Not Very Business-Friendly – ‘One-Stop’ Site Provides Just 16 Percent of State Licenses, Not Much Streamlining Going On

After more than 20 years of promises to simplify and reduce the regulatory burden on business, what does the state have to show for it? A botched, half-finished job, says a new report from the state auditor’s office. You can’t find what you need on the Web, and what’s there is hard to find. Efforts to “streamline” rules are a low priority and no one tracks results. “Talk is fine and talk is cheap, but we need to see the action,” says Auditor Brian Sonntag.

Winning the Presidency: Banking Clean Air or Bucking EPA?

Legally, EPA has until October 5th to either file a petition to the original three-judge panel who would rehear its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule revised arguments, or it could ask for the full bench to listen to its side.

State To Further Restrict Older Natural Gas Electricity Generators

Federal and state regulators continue to pile on the environmental regulations. The Department of Ecology may be delaying development of a new Surface Water Quality Standard but the Department of Commerce is moving ahead with a new Emissions Performance Standard for baseload electricity generation. Utilities and major customers are concerned.

While Supreme Court Considers a Challenge, Lucrative Cleanup Tax Becomes Cash Cow for State

Tax for Polluted Sites Becomes $300 Million Catch-All Fund, Pays for Unrelated Environmental Programs, Bails Out Budget – Lawsuit Would Divert Most Spending to Highways

A 24-year-old environmental “cleanup” tax that has become a catch-all fund for the Department of Ecology and cash-strapped lawmakers is under attack in the state Supreme Court. Tim Hamilton’s service-station operators say it’s a gas tax in all but name — but they wouldn’t have sued if people hadn’t gotten piggy.