Top Northwest Sustainability Headlines

October 24, 2014

1. Facing lawsuit, CA oil train terminal to close

A legal victory in California this week over crude oil operations could have a spillover effect, emboldening critics of crude-by-rail shipments to press their concerns in other jurisdictions.

Vancouver Columbian | Oil trains

2. Jury-rigging democracy

Better information to limit Big Money’s initiative power. What an independent, nonpartisan Oregon group called Healthy Democracy has begun doing, with the sanction of state government, is to submit pending ballot measures to quasi-jury trials and then publish the results in the voters’ pamphlet.

Sightline | Politics

3. Did OR get it wrong with oil terminal permit?

Local and national environmental groups filed a petition claiming Oregon erred in granting an air quality permit to Oregon’s largest oil train terminal. Their petition claims the Department of Environmental Quality should have considered pollution from the trains and ships that move oil in and out of the terminal, rather than just the terminal itself.

EarthFix | Fossil fuels

4. Paul Allen commits $100M to Ebola

Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has raised to $100 million his commitment to combat the Ebola virus and will finance the building of two “safety cocoons,” containment units designed to evacuate infected health care workers from West Africa.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Health

5. Four carbon cap-tax hybrids

Could Oregon and Washington create a cap-tax hybrid that is custom-made for the Pacific Northwest’s unique circumstances, culture, and economy? Northwesterners are down-to-earth and pragmatic, resilient through changing conditions. A Northwestern climate policy should be the same.

Sightline | Carbon Tax

6. Who’s painting over national parks?

A series of colorful, eerie faces painted on rocks in some of the West’s most pristine, well-known national parks has sparked an investigation by authorities and a furor online.

The Associated Press | National Parks

7. What if you build it, and no one comes?

Two years after Portland’s auto parking wars, apartment garages aren’t filling up.

Bike Portland | Bicycling

8. Why millennials don’t drive … and won’t

A new report explains in detail why millennials are likely to keep shunning cars no matter how the economy changes.

Fast Company | Cars

9. Racial equity can make us richer

The largest metros would have seen a 24 percent bump in economic growth in 2012 if racial employment disparities didn’t exist.

City Lab | Income Inequality

10. Fish get more protection than people

Each year, helicopters spray weed killers on more than 165 square miles of Oregon timberland, an area larger than the city of Portland. The spraying happens under the Pacific Northwest’s most industry-friendly regulations. Washington requires a wide no-spray zone around nearby homes. Oregon doesn’t.

The Oregonian | Pesticides

More News from October 24, 2014

New find stalls Bertha’s repair

The discovery of a deposit of shells halted the excavation of a repair vault for the Seattle tunnel machine known as Bertha. It’s another setback for a transportation project that seems cursed.

The Seattle Times | Transportation

Have bike, will help

Organizers of San Francisco’s first Disaster Relief Trials think cyclists can play a critical role in times of emergency.

City Lab | Bicycles

Study: What BC doesn’t know won’t hurt it

British Columbians are largely unaware of government climate policies, and a new study by researchers at Simon Fraser University says that’s probably just fine. An online survey found only one in four people could name a single climate policy, and among those who could, nearly all of them named the Carbon Tax applied to fossil fuels in BC.

Vancouver Sun | Climate Change

Kinder Morgan pipeline survey can go on

The National Energy Board issued an order granting Kinder Morgan access to Burnaby Mountain for survey work, despite opposition from the city of Burnaby. The order means the city cannot stop Kinder Morgan from conducting survey work on the mountain, even though it’s municipal land.

Vancouver Sun | Oil pipeline

Columbia River Treaty has been good for both sides

Energy Minister Bill Bennett went cross-border shopping this week with his case against the U.S. bid to claw back most of the benefits flowing to BC under the Columbia River Treaty.

Vancouver Sun | Water