Top Northwest Sustainability Headlines

November 24, 2014

1. Inslee: WA will act on oil trains

The number of oil trains running across Washington is unacceptable, and the Legislature will consider bills in the upcoming session that mandate advance notification of oil shipments by rail as well as more funding for railroad crossings and emergency response training, Gov. Jay Inslee said at a Safe Energy Leadership Alliance meeting.

The Olympian | Oil trains

2. Leniency leaks into North Dakota oil boom

North Dakota, a small state that believes in small government, took on the oversight of the multibillion-dollar fracking industry with a slender regulatory system built on neighborly trust, warnings and second chances.

The New York Times | Fracking

3. Green neighborhoods = healthier babies?

Neighborhoods abundant with grass and trees mean healthier pregnancies and babies, according to research by Oregon State University.

GoLocalPDX | Health

4. Program helps landlords rent to homeless

The new One Home campaign promotes a longstanding project that offers extra incentives and financial security for King County landlords who agree to rent to the homeless or formerly homeless.

The Seattle Times | Homelessness

5. Why price carbon—can’t we just regulate it?

What would it look like if we just make polluters emit less carbon? It’s not an elegant picture.

Sightline | Carbon pricing

6. Wind, solar power on the cheap

For the solar and wind industries in the United States, it has been a long-held dream: to produce energy at a cost equal to conventional sources like coal and natural gas. That day appears to be dawning.

The New York Times | Green Energy

7. San Juan County takes on GMO goliaths

In the same election that brought same-sex marriage and legal marijuana to Washington, little San Juan County, with its 12,019 registered voters, passed an initiative banning the growing of GMO crops on its islands.

The Seattle Times | GMO

8. Local Army Corps overruled on coal project

Columbia Riverkeeper says newly released federal documents show the Portland office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommended a full environmental review be conducted before approving the Morrow Pacific coal export project in Oregon — but it was overruled by higher-ups in the federal agency’s national headquarters.

Sustainable Life | Coal exports

9. Govs, Big Oil work together in offshore drilling group

A lobbying firm and advocacy group did much of the work for a coalition of eight state executives.

The Center for Public Integrity | Politics

10. RCMP help tend sacred fire

As tempers on Burnaby Mountain flare between protesters and duty-bound Mounties, the mutual respect behind the scenes is evident between three First Nations RCMP officers and several elders who are helping maintain a sacred fire within the zone ruled off-limits by a court injunction.

Vancouver Sun | First Nations

More News from November 24, 2014

Protesters target Kinder Morgan in Seattle

About 70 people protesting the proposed expansion of a Canadian oil pipeline that could dramatically increase oil-tanker traffic on Puget Sound rallied Sunday outside the Seattle offices of energy giant Kinder Morgan. The organizers, Rising Tide Seattle and 350 Seattle, said they gathered to show solidarity with more than 50 British Columbia residents arrested over the past few days as Kinder Morgan began test drilling for its Trans Mountain Pipeline on Burnaby Mountain.

The Seattle Times | Oil pipeline

BC taxi owners wield clout to fight Uber

To many economists and consumer advocates, the debate over whether to let Uber, the hyper-aggressive $18-billion San Francisco upstart shaking up the global taxi industry, operate in BC should end in a resounding yes. More competition and choice should mean better service and lower prices. So why are BC provincial and municipal politicians tripping over themselves to defend a relatively tiny number of taxi license owners?

Vancouver Sun | Ride-sharing

Gray wolf roams far from home

A female gray wolf from the Northern Rockies traveled hundreds of miles into northern Arizona, marking the species’ first appearance in the region in more than 70 years and the farthest journey south, wildlife officials confirmed Friday.

The Associated Press | Wolves

Climate change threatens Glacier’s glaciers

What will they call Glacier National Park once the glaciers are gone? A warming climate is melting Glacier’s glaciers, an icy retreat that promises to change not just tourists’ vistas, but also the mountains and everything around them.

The New York Times | Climate Change

LNG plant would be big greenhouse gas source

A proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Coos Bay would become one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases in Oregon, federal data show.

Eugene Register Guard | Fossil fuels

Views: Historic moment for marriage in MT

Love was in the air and on paper at the Missoula County Courthouse last week as, all across Montana, happy couples celebrated the historic moment when the statewide ban against same-sex marriage was finally ruled unconstitutional. Although the state attorney general says he intends to appeal, Montana is at last on the way toward the day when we can stop differentiating between opposite-sex and same-sex marriage, and start calling it what it is: marriage.

Missoulian | Same-sex marriage

Diverse group opposes oil plans

The latest group to go public with its opposition to new oil terminals in Washington is a diverse group including firefighters, physicians and neighborhood association leaders. In a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee, the coalition urged the governor to stop the proposed oil terminals in Vancouver and Grays Harbor and prevent the expansion of oil refineries in Anacortes.

Vancouver Columbian | Fossil fuels