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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A new audit from the State Auditor’s Office finds that the City of Chewelah in Stevens County “did not have documentation to support the methods it used to finance general government activities with restricted revenues.”
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.
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.
A new report from the Employment Security Department shows that so-called “green jobs” took a pummeling in the recession – just like they did everywhere else in the economy. Researchers say they are stumped for an explanation. Though perhaps one clue is provided by the fact that 60 percent of the decline occurred in the public sector, at a time when plummeting tax revenues have forced government to retrench.