Business and Finance

Environment & Energy

Recycling is expensive in Washington. China will make it worse

Recycling is expected to grow more expensive and perhaps more limited in the coming months. That’s because China, which now accepts two-thirds of the entire world’s recyclable materials, will be stepping almost entirely out of the global market.   http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/article180908816.html

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Affordable water may soon dry up, especially if you live here

Remember this number: $120. It’s the average monthly water bill in America. Researchers at Michigan State University predict this figure will rise by $49 over the next five years. And if it does, water may become unaffordable for one-third of American households, according to a study, published recently in PLOS ONE, that maps the U.S. areas due to be hit hardest based on local incomes.   http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/affordable-water-may-soon-dry-especially-live/

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Inside Inslee’s carbon tax: A gift for king coal

 OLYMPIA — For years, protecting the climate has been Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature issue. And his 2017 legislative agenda is keyed heavily to passing a tax on the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. But one surprising new analysis suggests that adopting the tax as Inslee has proposed would at first actually increase the state’s production of greenhouse gases and favor the dirtiest fossil fuel: coal. Unlike the carbon tax rejected by voters on the

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Are we ready for oil spills in the Salish Sea?

"The risk of major spills in the Salish Sea could soon increase dramatically, by as much as 168 percent, thanks to the possible sevenfold rise in oil tanker traffic associated with Kinder Morgan’s Trans-Mountain Pipeline expansion. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the pipeline in late November. The B.C. government gave it the green light last week." http://crosscut.com/2017/01/trans-mountain-pipeline-oil-spills-salish-sea/

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PUD invests $11.2 million in energy-storing units

EVERETT — Don’t be deceived: They look like shipping containers. But the rows of massive metal boxes could contain the utility industry’s future. At least, that’s the hope of officials at the Snohomish County Public Utility District, which is installing a huge battery system near downtown Everett. The district’s goal for the $11.2 million project is to make energy storage cheaper and more flexible for utilities.   http://www.heraldnet.com/news/pud-invests-in-11-2-million-in-energy-storing-units/

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Port of Vancouver could have ended oil terminal conflict without penalty

Instead of putting the ball back in the court of Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos., Port of Vancouver commissioners could have delivered an emphatic smash last week. The commissioners unanimously agreed Friday to offer revisions on a lease to build an oil terminal along the shore of the Columbia River, leaving it up to Tesoro and Savage — working in conjunction as Vancouver Energy — to decide whether to accept the revisions. “We’re pleased to

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2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 was held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 12 December 2015. It was the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the 1992United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.[1] The conference negotiated the Paris Agreement, a global agreement on the reduction of climate

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U.S. needs to rethink use of public lands for coal mining

Pausing to reassess federal coal sales was a wise move by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. INTERIOR Secretary Sally Jewell’s decision to pause and reassess leasing of federal land for coal mining is a smart move with implications for her home state of Washington. The United States is overdue in updating land-management policies to be sure the public gets the best possible return on resources that it sells to companies, whether they are in the business

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Dental group defends mercury fillings amid mounting evidence of risks

For decades, the American Dental Association has resolutely defended the safety of mercury fillings in the teeth of more than 100 million Americans, even muzzling dentists who dared to warn patients that such fillings might make them sick. The association has lobbied the Food and Drug Administration to ensure the fillings, which contain one of the world’s most menacing toxins, receive a government seal of safety and wouldn’t be tightly regulated.

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Another Dad Joins Facebook — President Obama (and talks about global warming)

Hello, Facebook! I finally got my very own page. I hope you’ll think of this as a place where we can have real conversations about the most important issues facing our country – a place where you can hear directly from me, and share your own thoughts and stories. (You can expect some just-for-fun stuff, too.) I’m kicking it off by inviting you to take a walk with me in my backyard – something I try to do at the end of the day before I head

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Coal Giant Peabody Accused Of Misleading Investors About Climate Change Risks

New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says coal giant Peabody Energy made false and misleading statements to investors about the financial risks it faces because of climate change. As part of an agreement with Schneiderman's office, the company has agreed to revise the disclosures it makes to investors about the risks in its quarterly report released today, and has promised to include the disclosures in future filings. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/09/455314374/coal-giant-peabody-accused-of-misleading-investors-about-climate-change-risks

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Keystone pipeline rejection means oil tankers could multiply in Strait of Juan de Fuca

President Obama’s decision Friday to reject the Keystone XL pipeline puts a fresh spotlight on other efforts to bring Canadian crude oil to market, including a $5.4 billion project to boost oil flows to British Columbia http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/keystone-pipeline-rejection-could-pack-strait-of-juan-de-fuca-with-oil-tankers/

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If 7 proposed projects are built, Northwest trains could carry 1M barrels of crude oil per day

Up to 1 million barrels of crude oil could move through the Northwest daily if all 15 proposed oil terminal projects are completed in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. That’s the conclusion of a just-completed update to a report by Seattle-based Sightline Institute, which has been monitoring the growth of oil train movements for some years. http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2015/07/06/if-7-proposed-projects-are-built-northwest-trains.html

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Small nuke reactors: Search for site is planned

The Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council will begin searching for potential sites to  locate small modular reactors. That information came from a recent Energy Northwest blog entry. Energy Northwest is lined up to operate small modular reactors courts under a Northwest venture allied with the federal Department of Energy. The most likely manufacturing site is a half-built reactor located just north of Richland and near Energy Northwest’s

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Editorial: Drought put new facet on U.S.-Canada river treaty

Were they not choking on the smoke from the region’s wildfires, our neighbors in British Columbia might be enjoying a measure of satisfaction from the challenges extreme drought have presented to those of us who live south of the 49th parallel. As Becky Kramer reported in the Aug. 9 Spokesman-Review, many living in the province’s interior have not forgotten what was taken from them when President Dwight Eisenhower and Canada Premier John Diefenbaker

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As salmon vanish in the dry Pacific Northwest, so does Native heritage

As a drought tightens its grip on the Pacific Northwest, burning away mountain snow and warming rivers, state officials and Native American tribes are becoming increasingly worried that one of the region’s most precious resources — wild salmon — might disappear.   http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/as-salmon-vanish-in-the-dry-pacific-northwest-so-does-native-heritage/2015/07/30/2ae9f7a6-2f14-11e5-8f36-18d1d501920d_story.html?utm_source=Sightline%20Institute&utm_medium=web-email&utm_campaign=Sightline%20News%20Selections

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Make parks fund permanent

If Congress were seeking a vote on a valuable program that would allow it to pat itself on the back and celebrate its ability to work in a bipartisan fashion, it could do no better than renewal of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Ushered into existence 50 years ago by Everett's Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson, the conservation fund has more than proved itself with annual success stories that have safeguarded natural areas and water resources,

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If 7 proposed projects are built, Northwest trains could carry 1M barrels of crude oil per day

Up to 1 million barrels of crude oil could move through the Northwest daily if all 15 proposed oil terminal projects are completed in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. That’s the conclusion of a just-completed update to a report by Seattle-based Sightline Institute, which has been monitoring the growth of oil train movements for some years. Rail oil terminals at BP and Phillips 66 refineries in Ferndale near Bellingham, the Tesoro Refinery

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Initiative to protect animals collects enough signatures

SEATTLE — Supporters of an initiative to help protect endangered animals that are being poached or exploited say they’ve collected enough signatures to get their proposal on the November ballot. The Initiative 1401 Campaign held a press conference at the Seattle Aquarium on Wednesday to announce that they are turning in 348,627 signatures to the state Elections Office. That’s 100,000 more than they needed to qualify for the ballot.   http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20150701/NEWS03/150709900/Initiative-to-protect-animals-collects-enough-signatures

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Poplars’ potential: Rathdrum Prairie grove part of study on cellulose-based biofuel

Seventy acres of poplars on the Rathdrum Prairie rustled in a hot, summer breeze, flashing silvery-green leaves. Someday, cars and trucks could be running on fuel made from the trees. A $40 million research project, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is studying poplars’ potential to produce cellulose-based biofuels. The grove north of Hayden is one of four test plots in the five-year project, which is being led by University of Washington

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