Environment

Greens Go All in to Fight Arctic Drilling

The fight has brought unprecedented support to green organizations, helped in part by the imagery of the pristine Arctic, endangered polar bears, native subsistence and a delicate climate — all of which, greens say, are threatened by Shell and the oil industry. Over the next few weeks, greens think that their legal and administrative appeals — led by environmental law firm Earthjustice — have the most hope to stop the drill bit from hitting the ocean floor.

Renewable Energy By Any Other Name Doesn’t Smell As Sweet

Unlike the rest of the world, our huge amount of hydropower is not allowed to be recognized as renewable anymore, thus we have to buy wind from another state and throw away hydro-generated electricity when that wind comes online. This rather ludicrous situation came about from a foolish, if well-intentioned, 2006 Washington State Ballot Initiative 937.

A Last Chance for Clean Fuels and Public Transit

As you might have read, yesterday an agreement on Washington’s transportation budget was announced that would allow the “poison pill” to stand—pitting transit funding against a clean fuels standard. This is a win for the oil industry and shows the extent of their grip on the legislature.

Justices Rule Against Obama Bid to Limit Power Plant Mercury Emissions

A divided Supreme Court on Monday ruled against federal regulators’ attempt to limit power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants. The rules began to take effect in April, but the court split 5-4 to rule that the EPA failed to take their cost into account when the agency first decided to regulate the toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired plants.

Inslee Drops Fuel Standard, To Propel Transpo Budget Deal

As Washington State lawmakers moved into a third special session Sunday, Gov. Jay Inslee in a statement signalled he would back off his administration’s proposed low carbon fuel standard in return for Republican votes needed in the Senate to pass a 16-year, $15 billion surface transportation investment package. A gas tax hike of 11.7 cents per gallon has been part of the Senate GOP majority draft law.

Fuel Standard Gums Up Transpo Deal In Oregon; Washington Too?

Plans in Washington for a Low Carbon Fuel Standard are getting a rough ride as lawmakers and Gov. Jay Inslee try to engineer a badly-needed transportation spending package. And in Oregon, a clean fuel standard passed into law in March had looked as if it would be repealed late this week in order to win Republican votes to pass a transportation package there.

New Judge To Hear Arguments On Columbia River Dams And Salmon

The question behind the case: how to offset the impacts of Columbia River dams on threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead. That question has been subject to more than 20 years of legal conflict. Tuesday’s hearing is a continuation of a lawsuit that was filed in 2001.