On Thursday, July 24, around 5:45 AM, while many nearby residents were still asleep in their homes, a loaded oil train moving at only about five miles per hour derailed under the Magnolia Bridge, about a mile north of downtown Seattle. Though no fuel spilled and no fire resulted, the event alarmed many throughout the region about the serious dangers of shipping vast amounts of volatile Bakken crude oil by rail through our communities. Read more.
The Seattle Times | Oil trains
Sightline | Oil trains
Sightline | Coal exports
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Water pollution
Bike Portland | Bicycling
EarthFix | Recycling
Grist | Wildfires
The Oregonian | Wolves
The Seattle Times | Fish and wildlife
Sightline | Carbon Tax
In case you don’t check the coal futures markets every day, you may have missed the trend: after it looked like international coal prices had bottomed out in late 2013, starting in January they continued their three-year collapse. To understand just how dramatic the decline has been, all you need to do is look at the chart of futures prices for coal at Newcastle, Australia.
If you’re a coal buyer in Korea or Japan, this is good news, because it means that a ton of coal is a lot cheaper than it used to be. But if you’re in the business of selling coal, the price trends have been a financial catastrophe.
Editor’s Note: Washington’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce is on the job, weighing alternative carbon-pricing proposals. Some members of the panel have asked what our ideal policy would be for Washington State. Yoram Bauman shares his thoughts today. Alan Durning will share his argument for a California-style cap-and-trade system, with key modifications, another day.
Oregonians will vote in November on whether to adopt open, top-two primaries like California and Washington. Here’s the pro argument, from US Senator Chuck Schumer.
“Honk if you’re horny” and other creative signs from a pro-choice couple who stand side by side with abortion clinic blockaders to leaven their messages with humor and perspective.
Did you take a big road trip in your college days? My nephew and niece just did. In a Tesla. With a GoPro. Here’s … read more »
Today, Sightline is releasing a brand new report on the US Bureau of Land Management’s coal leasing programs: Unfair Market Value: By Ignoring Exports, BLM Underprices Federal Coal. As the report documents, coal companies operating in the western United States are increasingly seeking to buy coal from the American public with the explicit goal of shipping that coal overseas…yet the BLM is ignoring the potential profits form overseas coal sales when setting the price at which it will sell federally owned coal. As a result, the agency is giving away coal for a song—which is boosting coal company profits, while denying the American public of millions of dollars of revenue each year. For details, read on…