Shell’s plans for the Arctic and the Port’s circumvention of a public process have the region in an uproar, so now is a good time to explore the oil company’s well documented record of interfering in Washington’s politics. Shell is by no means unique. Oil, coal and gas interests put $3 million into the state in 2014 alone. Pushing Shell’s colossal rig out of Elliott Bay is one thing. Ridding Washington’s democracy of the company’s influence is quite another. Read more.
Politico has an epic treatment of coal’s decline in the United States and the meticulous, truth-telling Sierra Club volunteers and staffers who have helped accelerate it.
One more reason the Northwest beats California: we haven’t had to consider this just yet.
“[The rents] do not go down, that’s one thing that’s a safe bet in the trailer park world. Our rents do not go down.” That’s Frank Rolfe, founder of Mobile Home University, a company that trains … read more »
Good news: professor Lawrence Lessig, the greatest orator of democracy reform, is Cascadia-bound. He’s helping to launch a new film. He’s also promoting campaigns near and far to tamp down the systemic money-corruption of government. Event details are below.
- What: Seattle premier of “Killswitch” and post-screening discussion with Dr. Lawrence Lessig and Marianne Williamson
- When: Thursday, June 4, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
- Where: Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Avenue, Seattle, WA (map)
- Tickets: $15 pre-sale,
A few years back, when most oil industry analysts thought that oil prices would remain in the $100-per-barrel range for the foreseeable future, domestic oil companies found that they could earn a healthy profit by fracking “tight oil” out of shale rock formations. Drilling activity in North Dakota, home of the oil-rich Bakken Shale, shot through the roof, catapulting the Flickertail State (yes, that’s an actual nickname for North Dakota) into the #2 oil producing state in the country, second only to Texas.
But starting in the summer of 2014, global oil prices began to collapse. Within a few months, US prices had fallen below $50 per barrel, and oil drilling activity in North Dakota collapsed. Take a look at the oil drilling trend for North Dakota, derived from the Baker Hughes North American rotary rig count.
It’s perhaps a little early to see the drilling collapse in the state’s oil production statistics. But some Wall Street analysts have certainly noticed the drilling trend and are starting to speculate that the collapse in shale oil drilling could lead to a new round of oil price volatility. Read more »
Washington State is on the front lines of oil transport by rail. The ten oil train explosions in the last two years and the numerous oil spills on Washington’s coast are reminders that there are devastating consequences when it comes to transporting oil. Ten new proposals have emerged in just the last year to ship crude oil by train to Northwest refineries and port terminals.
On June 10th, I’ll be in Hoquiam with several area leaders for a free, public forum on the alarming growth in oil train traffic through Grays Harbor County and the costs and consequences of the oil-by-rail industry for local residents. I’ll introduce the topic and moderate a panel of local leaders including Larry Thevik, Vice President of the Washington Dungeness Crab Fishermen’s Association; David Batker, of Earth Economics; Tammy Domike, of Citizens for a Clean Harbor; Crystal Dingler, Mayor of Ocean Shores; and Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Indian Nation. Read more »