gas

The prospect of coal exports has stirred controversy in the Northwest this year. But near Astoria last night, it was natural gas exports that drew a capacity crowd. Correspondent Tom Banse reports what happened when federal regulators invited comment on a proposed natural gas export terminal at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Idaho Begins Seismic Testing For Natural Gas

Oct 1, 2012
Photo Credit: Aaron Kunz

The Natural Gas Industry is shaking the earth in Idaho. It’s looking for the best places to start drilling.

Brian Sayrs / Flickr

A survey by the website GasBuddy.com finds gasoline prices at the pump are stabilizing in the Northwest going into Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, they're stabilizing right around $4 per gallon for regular unleaded on average statewide . If it's any consolation, a study by a think tank in Seattle finds gasoline consumption in Oregon and Washington is "on a gentle downward slide."

Gas station owners in Washington have won the right to proceed with a lawsuit against the state. They’re challenging the policy of gas tax refunds to Native American tribes who operate their own gas stations. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has more on the implications.

tinatinatinatinatina / Flickr

With the Labor Day holiday weekend approaching, the average price of a gallon of unleaded gas has once again topped $4 in Oregon and Washington. AAA says that puts the cost of gas in the Northwest at more than 25 cents a gallon above the national average.

Northwest drivers could be paying more at the pump.   That’s because this week’s refinery fire in California is likely to affect gas prices.  Ruby de Luna has more.

Analysts say get ready to pay as much as four dollars or more per gallon. You can blame the refinery fire in California for the spike. But what does that have to do with fuel prices here?

Overstreet: “We’re locked together at the hip by refinery system on the West Coast.”

Kevin Mooney

Natural gas customers in the Northwest will pay even less to heat their homes this winter. That was the message Thursday from Oregon's three largest natural gas utilities. They issued their prediction at a meeting of the state’s Public Utility Commission.

Neil and Kathy Carey / Flickr

Job recruiters from booming Alberta, Canada see opportunity amidst the high unemployment rates of Washington and Oregon. They're in Seattle this week inviting unemployed skilled workers in the Northwest to consider moving north.

West Coast Gas Prices Higher Than Other Regions

May 24, 2012
tinatinatinatinatina/ Flickr / Northwest News Network

Gas prices nationwide have been dropping but not in the Northwest. In fact, this Memorial Day weekend, the region's gas prices are among the highest in the nation.

Gas in Washington and Oregon is selling above $4.20 per gallon. It's cheaper in Idaho. But all three states are well above the national average of $3.68 per gallon. The U.S Department of Energy says oil supplies on the West Coast are the lowest they've been since the 1999. Several California oil refineries are offline. And Washington's Cherry Point BP refinery hasn't fully recovered from a fire there in February. Denton Cinquegrana is an editor at the Oil Price Information Service. He says the Northwest just doesn't have the supply routes that other parts of the country have.

The natural gas industry is interested in mineral rights in a Northwest wildlife area. Aaron Kunz explains.

This month, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission authorized the state to auction off the mineral rights for nearly 400 acres in the Payette River Wildlife Management Area. The auction could take place in late July.

Suzanne Budge is with the Idaho Petroleum Council. She explains why the company, Snake River Oil and Gas, is interested in the mineral rights.

ASTORIA, Ore. -- Changes are afoot at a liquefied natural gas project near Astoria. Amelia Templeton reports.

COOS BAY, Ore. -- Federal regulators visited the site of a proposed liquefied natural gas facility near Coos Bay, Oregon Wednesday. Regulators say the Jordan Cove energy project will need to submit a new application now that it is proposing to export natural gas instead of importing it. Amelia Templeton reports.

Photo credit: Wikimedia user Elwood J Blues / Wikimedia Commons

BOISE – Idaho lawmakers signed off Wednesday on a plan that limits local control of oil and natural gas development. Even supporters say this legislation isn’t perfect.

Photo by Yumei Wang / DOGAMI

BELLINGHAM -- Sunday marks the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The tsunami destruction and the Fukushima nuclear meltdown garner the most attention. There was another cause of suffering in Japan's quake zone. In some places, you couldn't get gasoline for weeks to fuel cars and generators. The Pacific Northwest is prone to the same kind of earthquake. Correspondent Tom Banse reports emergency planners say this region's fuel supply lines are vulnerable.

Photo by: Eric Hunt / Wikimedia Commons

BOISE, Idaho -- Some Idaho legislators are concerned about a bill that reduces county control over the oil and gas industry.

The Senate Resources and Environment Committee grilled industry leaders and stakeholders Wednesday over legislation that gives the state control to regulate the natural gas industry.

Photo by: BP

There's more evidence that a big oil refinery in Northwest Washington will be out of service for a long time. Refinery owner BP says it's arranging for replacement fuel to be shipped to the region from as far away as Singapore.

Photo credit: Andrew Lee / Wikimedia commons

The oil company BP is zeroing in on a cause for last week's explosion at its big Cherry Point refinery near Ferndale, Washington. But the investigation and repairs are moving slowly. That doesn't bode well for gasoline prices in Western Washington and Oregon. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Photo Credit: John Ryan / Nothwest Public Radio

BOEING FIELD, Wash. -- Lead paint was banned in the United States in the 1970s. Leaded gasoline was slowly phased out over the next 20 years. Those efforts drove one of the great public-health improvements of the past century. The amount of lead found in human bloodstreams has dropped by more than 90 percent.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Iberdrola Renewables, one of the Northwest's biggest wind and solar power companies, let go about 50 workers out of a nationwide staff of more than 900. The cuts affect 25 workers based at its North American headquarters in Portland. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Energy company Iberdrola Renewables cited multiple factors for a decision to scale back on new projects. That led directly to layoffs in engineering, construction and development.

Wikimedia user: TobinFricke / Wikimedia Commons

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Department of Energy is starting work on a plan to build a 30-mile natural gas pipeline to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant. The announcement Monday includes few details but the pipeline would likely go under the Columbia River.

Hanford’s waste treatment plant is going to need a lot of power. After all, its purpose is to mix radioactive sludge with glass material to form molten liquid. That brew, once cooled, would form huge glass logs for long-term storage.

Starting next year, some of the trash you toss out may end up in gas tanks instead of buried at a large regional landfill in eastern Oregon. 

This project is a joint venture between landfill operator Waste Management Inc. and a small engineering company based in Bend called InEnTec. The partners announced they'll build their first waste-to-energy plant at the big landfill near Arlington, Oregon. The planned facility will vaporize trash in a very high temperature melter. Spokeswoman Jackie Lang says the resulting superheated gases can then be recombined to make synthetic fuel.

What do Nike, R-E-I, the Vancouver Olympics, and the Washington State government have in common? They've all promised to eliminate their impact on the climate by going 'carbon-neutral'. R-E-I aims to have zero output of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide by the year 2020. But since REI set the zero-impact goal, its emissions have been heading rapidly in the opposite direction.

What do Nike, R-E-I, the Vancouver Olympics, and the Washington State government have in common? They've all promised to eliminate their impact on the climate by going 'carbon-neutral'. R-E-I aims to have zero output of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide by the year 2020. But since REI set the zero-impact goal, its emissions have been heading rapidly in the opposite direction.

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