A new nuclear power plant proposed near the Idaho-Oregon border cleared its first hurdle [today] Monday. But, groundbreaking is still years away because many more local and federal approvals are needed. [Correspondent Tom Banse reports.]
Conservationists are in a race against the clock to save a sizable forest on Whidbey Island [in Puget Sound]. The Whidbey Camano [kuh-MAY-no] Land Trust needs to raise about $2.5 million [two-and-half million dollars] between now and next Thursday. Land trust director Pat Powell hopes the ugly pictures from the Gulf oil spill motivate donors.
Pat Powell: “People are really thinking about protecting natural heritage. This is a place – Whidbey Island – that is special for everyone. Protecting the forest helps protect the island, Puget Sound and really helps us to pay back our planet.” [:14]
Powell says the roughly one square mile forest is known locally as the Trillium property. Three banks currently own the parcel through a foreclosure. They set the June 10th deadline. If the land trust fails to raise the remaining $2.5 million, it expects the forest to be sold to a back-up buyer and then developed with houses.
SEATTLE - Business lobbies have pushed hard against global warming proposals in Congress. But a group of Northwest companies says tackling climate change will be good for business. They're calling on lawmakers to support an energy bill sponsored by Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman. Among the key elements of the proposal is a cap-and-trade system. It would make industries pay for the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases they release into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. Sarah Severn with Nike says that's an important step toward a clean-energy economy.
Sarah Severn: "We believe that putting a significant price on carbon will move us more rapidly down the path of innovation because it will unleash capital that has been waiting on the sidelines, waiting a signal from Congress." [:11]
Severn said the US risks falling behind Europe and China in developing clean-tech industries. She was one of several representatives from Northwest businesses who spoke during a conference call [today] Thursday sponsored by the Seattle-based environmental group, Climate Solutions. Weyerhaeuser, REI and other companies cited the threats to their businesses from climate change and urged senators from Northwest states to pass the Kerry-Lieberman bill this year. The House of Representatives passed a similar bill last summer.
RICHLAND, Wash. – The
Columbia Generating Station in Richland, Washington, has been coming
increased federal scrutiny lately. Washington's only commercial nuclear
power plant has had six unplanned shutdowns in the last two years. The
National Regulatory Commission held a hearing about the plant's
performance [last night] Tuesday.
MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. –
The Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens is reopening
[/reopened (5/16)] for the season this weekend. That's just in time for
the 30th anniversary of the volcano's epic blast. [Correspondent Tom
Banse reports...] The visitor center re-opens[/re-opened] with new
short films and exhibits.
MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. –
Where were you on May 18, 1980? The massive eruption of Mount St.
Helens that day is one of those seminal events on par with 9/11 or the
JFK assassination. Hard to believe it's been thirty years. The blast
zone is once again teeming with life. Even scientists are amazed.
Correspondent Tom Banse has more on the wider lessons ecologists draw
on this anniversary.
RICHLAND, Wash. - The
Hanford Nuclear Reservation is famously home to 53 million gallons of
radioactive sludge. But over it's long history, the site has also
collected scads of work materials, lab supplies and clothing that are
also contaminated. Now, federal and state officials have agreed on a
new set of deadlines for cleaning up that tricky waste. [Correspondent
Anna King reports.]
PORTLAND – There's a
sleeping giant in the Pacific Northwest that could wake very soon and
shake us all up. That giant is a major quake on par with the one that
rattled Chile earlier this year. Some seismologists say it's overdue.
More than 500 of the world's leading earthquake experts are in Portland
this week for their annual conference. Correspondent Tom Banse dropped
by to find out when the next “Big One” might shake the region.
SALEM, Ore. – In
February, Oregon lawmakers voted to reign in a renewable energy tax
credit program. The incentives had turned out to be far more generous
than anyone intended. One of the new rules in place curbs the ability
of companies to receive multiple tax credits by simply breaking up a
larger project into several smaller ones. But that hasn't stopped at
least one major player in the renewable energy industry from making the
case for multiple versions of Oregon's Business Energy Tax Credit.
[Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman looked into the issue.
RICHLAND, Wash. – The
Hanford Nuclear Reservation recently accepted another spent nuclear
reactor from the U.S. Navy. The reactors travel by barge from the naval
shipyard in Bremerton, along the Washington Coast and up the Columbia
River to Richland. It's a highly secretive operation. But in the
Tri-Cities, Washington, [Correspondent Anna King found] a nuclear
reactor arrives almost like a celebrity would.
Oil refiner Tesoro
[tess-AR-oh] is investigating the deadly [early] Friday morning
explosion in Anacortes [Washington]. But the company does not yet have
an explanation for the incident. The blast at the oil refinery killed
four Tesoro workers and gravely injured three others. Senior Vice
President Lynn Westfall said in a press conference [this
afternoon]Friday that the explosion occurred near a heating and cooling