Ashley Ahearn

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Shell Drilling Rigs
5:17 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Seattle City Council Looks At Shell Drill Rigs

Shell Oil plans to park it's oil rigs at the Port of Seattle but environmentalists oppose it.
Credit Backbone Campaign / Flickr

Seattle City Council members heard testimony on a resolution today.

The resolution urges the Port of Seattle to reconsider its controversial decision to host Shell Oil’s arctic drill rigs.

The resolution warns that allowing Shell to use Terminal 5 in West Seattle will cause: “disruption, division and direct conflict with the Port’s stated values and policies.”

At the hearing, environmentalists made their opposition to the Shell lease known. But others who testified felt differently.

Joshua Berger represents the Washington Maritime Federation.

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Oyster Bed Pesticides
6:52 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Shellfish Growers Decide Against Spraying Oyster Beds

Credit Masaaki Tsuyuguchi / Flickr

Shellfish growers in Washington’s Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay are canceling plans to spray their shellfish beds with pesticides. The state granted the growers the permits to spray last month, prompting a public outcry.

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Arctic Drilling
5:29 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Shell Arctic Drilling Rig Expected In Port Angeles

Port of Seattle
Credit Google Images

Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, is expected to arrive Friday in Port Angeles, Washington.

Shell has just received the necessary federal permits to drill for oil in the Arctic and will be staging its fleet in Seattle, despite a lawsuit filed by environmental groups and an investigation launched by the Seattle City Council.

Activists have warned of a flotilla of kayaks that would extend a less-than-warm welcome to Shell when it arrives at the Port of Seattle.

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Oil Trains
4:56 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Puget Sound Tribe's Lawsuit Aims To Keep Oil Trains Off Its Reservation

The Swinomish Tribe said BNSF Railways doesn’t have permission for the increased oil train traffic because the company is putting the tribe’s way of life at risk.
Credit Michael Werner / EarthFix

A Puget Sound tribe filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court to stop oil trains from traveling through its reservation north of Seattle.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway’s train tracks cross the top of the Swinomish Reservation in Skagit County. In recent years they’ve been used to move oil from North Dakota to two refineries in Anacortes.

In 1990 BNSF and the Swinomish reached a settlement that required the railroad to regularly update the tribe on the type of cargo moving through the reservation. It also limited traffic to two 25-car trains per day.

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Carbon Tax Initiative
6:47 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Group Launches Initiative For A Carbon Tax In Washington

Credit Kristen Steele / Flickr

If you’re at the Seattle Mariner’s game Monday afternoon you might run into some folks with clipboards. They’re gathering signatures for a new initiative for 2016 that would tax carbon emissions.

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Arctic Drilling
4:21 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Port Of Seattle Unswayed In Decision To Host Shell's Arctic Drilling Fleet

Hundreds of people attended the Seattle Port Commissioners' public meeting to voice their feelings about a controversial lease that would allow Shell Oil to keep its arctic drilling fleet at the Port of Seattle.
Credit Ashley Ahearn

The Port of Seattle will host Shell Oil’s arctic drilling fleet. That includes ships and drilling rigs. The Port signed a lease earlier this month that has caused a stir among some citizens and elected officials, who say the lease goes against the Port and city’s commitment to green leadership.

The room was packed when a group of graying ladies who call themselves “the raging grannies” took the microphone to sing their testimony.

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Snowpack
5:10 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

BPA Not Worried About Low Snowpack

The Northwest’s record-low snowfall has delivered a frustrating ski season this winter.
Credit Panda Poles / Flickr

The Northwest’s record-low snowfall has delivered a frustrating ski season this winter. And when summertime comes, the thin snowpack could make for low stream levels and tinder-dry forests.

But people who manage the Northwest’s biggest dams say they’re not worried.

"We’re doing just fine at the moment," Mike Hanson said.

Hanson is a spokesman for Bonneville Power Administration. It operates 31 federal dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, and provides about one-third of the electricity for the Northwest.

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Coal Terminal Dispute
7:23 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Northwestern Washington Tribe Calls On Feds To Halt Coal Terminal Permit Review

Two members of the Lummi Nation harvesting crab from Puget Sound. The tribe is calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to halt the review of a coal terminal.
Credit Katie Campbell / KCTS9

The Lummi Nation of Northwestern Washington sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers Monday.

It called on the Corps to halt the permitting process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. The terminal would be located near Bellingham and would transport up to 48 million tons of coal to Asia by ship each year.

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Skagit River Water Dispute
6:55 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Court Case Is The Latest Battle In Water Wars Of The Skagit River

It might be wet this time of year in the Northwest, but that hasn’t stopped an ongoing battle over water in Washington’s Skagit river valley.
Credit pfly / Flickr

Richard and Marnie Fox wanted to build a new house on their land but they couldn't get a building permit. The Foxes took legal action and their case will go before a judge on Tuesday.

The state said there was not enough water in the area to support anymore new residences without endangering salmon, especially during the drier parts of the year.

Richard Fox walked out to his back field with his leather hat and raincoat on. A bunch of sopping wet cows looked at him, vaguely curious. His backyard was flooded. 

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Orca Calf Missing
7:43 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Newest Endangered Orca Calf Missing, Presumed Dead

A calf born this year to a resident Puget Sound orca has not been seen recently and scientists think it may have died.
Credit EarthFix

Orca enthusiasts rejoiced when a newborn calf was spotted seven weeks ago. But as of this morning the endangered killer whale calf has not been seen.

L120 was the first calf born in the past two years. Over the weekend, the calf’s mother was spotted three times, without her baby. Orca experts believe the calf is dead, though no carcass has been found and it's unclear how it died.

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