Sunday, July 31, 2011

VIDEO: KEXP Interview Slams Seattle Steam

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Duff Badgley Mason County Progressive

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Request ORCAA/Simpson Public Hearing


SIMPSON AIR OPERATING PERMIT UP FOR RENEWAL
COMMENT PERIOD ENDS MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 2011


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Katherine Price Mason County Progressive

Shelton and Mason County have learned a lot in the past year and a half.

We have learned that most of our LOCAL political leaders have their own agendas, which rarely reflect the concerns of their constituents, but almost always mirror the needs and desires of their corporate campaign donors.

We have learned that government agencies we thought existed to protect the citizens and enforce federal clean air and water standards, instead primarily seem to act as facilitators for corporations to obtain permits to pollute in the name of business as usual.

We have learned that we live in an amazing modern time where the citizen can actually learn things we never knew we needed to know. Things like PM2.5 being harmful for children and other living things, and there being no safe level of consumption of dioxin for humans (and there is a lot of dioxin in our harbor).

We have learned that we live in a community where, when the medical professionals share their EXPERT opinions on the health hazards of burning in populated areas, they can be ignored by the Port, the Chamber Pot, the EDC, the County Commissioners, and the City Commissioners.

And because we have learned these things, we have also learned that we cannot stop watching and learning.

Simpson Timber Company's Air Operating Permit is up for renewal. This is a five (5) year renewal. The permitting agency, ORCAA (Olympic Regional Clean Air Agency), never met a permit it wanted to deny, so you can expect the five year renewal to be smooth sailing for Simpson.

However, I have a great many questions as must many citizens of Mason County. I have questions that were addressed to ORCAA re: the ADAGE proposal that never got answered as the ADAGE proposal was withdrawn.

These unanswered questions pertain equally to the Simpson Timber Co. Air Operating Permit.

In order to have such questions answered, ORCAA will provide us with a public hearing...but ONLY if they get enough requests for such a hearing.


It is up to US to request a public hearing.

Also, we need to specifically ask ORCAA to publish notice of the hearing in the Journal, rather than the Olympian, as the persons affected are strictly in Mason County on this one!


AND

I suggest that each of us should also ask to be added to ORCAA's list of "persons of interest", so we all can get plenty of notice about a hearing, as we did from the City on the Air Operating Permit renewal.

Comments and hearing requests must be submitted in writing by 8/15/11 to:

Fran L. McNair
ORCAA Executive Director
2940-B Limited Lane NW
Olympia, WA 98502
Fax: 360-491-6308
Email:
fran.mcnair@orcaa.org

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Link to Simpson AOP info on ORCAA website:

http://www.orcaa.org/public-involvement/draft-air-operating-permits/#simpson

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NO BIOMASS INCINERATORS --- REALLY?


The Port doth protest too much, methinks

Submitted to Shelton Blog by John Cox
Mason County Progressive

Did you notice how everyone who's anyone at the Port of Shelton (except for the blacklisted Commissioner who won't take "no" for an answer) managed to make vigorous public denials about plans for a biomass incinerator repeat performance?


The deniers were just everywhere, denying everything. Commissioner Jay Hupp at the recent Port Commission meeting, Port Director John Dobson in this week's Journal, and Commissioner Tom Wallitner's
in his letter to editor of the Journal. I have never seen such a concerted public display before from the Port.

I take that back. I have seen it before --- when the Port was hard at work trying to sell ADAGE to us citizens.

I think we must have stepped on some toes or kicked a nerve or something. Do you think they've read Hamlet?


SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Link to previous related post "A Choice for Port of Shelton":
http://masoncountyprogressive.blogspot.com/2011/07/choice-for-port-of-shelton.html

Monday, July 25, 2011

KMAS CANDIDATE FORUM 7/28 at 7:00 PM


WHY WE BACK JACK

Submitted to Shelton Blog by John Cox & Christine Armond
Mason County Progressive

Remember
early on when we all just started to attend Port meetings to argue with Jay Hupp and friends about the now defunct ADAGE incinerator?

At one of those meetings, Jack Miles opposed an effort by Hupp to try to restrict the ability of citizens to counter his pet project. We no longer recall the exact issue on that particular day, but we do remember being impressed that at least one of the Port Commissioners was actually trying to do something to protect our rights as citizens. And he hasn't stopped.


Jack has clearly shown that he will not be backed down and bullied. He has clearly come down on the side of the citizens' right to be a part of the process of government, over and over again.

Because of these efforts on his part, he has come under attack, over and over again, by those who seek to maintain power and do whatever they want--citizens be damned.


Can you imagine any of Jack's opponents in the election actually standing up for us in this way?

Commissioners Hupp and Wallitner and Port Director Dobson work very hard at slamming the door of Port power in the face of we, the citizens. Jack has always been on our side of the door. helping to keep the door open by any means possible, so we, the citizens can see what's really going on.

This opening has allowed us to have a say in the type of economic development we want in this area.


We are thanking Jack for all his efforts on our behalf by giving him our support in the upcoming primary on August 16th, and at the Candidate Forum on Thursday.


KMAS CANDIDATE FORUM
for
August 16th Primary Election
on
Thursday, July 28
at
Mason County Public Works Facility
at
7:00 PM

Let's pack the room in support of Jack!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Japan PM Seeks Nuclear Power Free Future

Excerpt from:
Naoto Kan, Japan Prime Minister,
Seeks Nuclear Power Free Future


TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's prime minister said Wednesday he wants his country to learn from its ongoing crisis and become less reliant on nuclear energy.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan told a news conference that the risks are too high and renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass should eventually replace nuclear as a new pillar of Japan's energy supply, along with conservation.

"We should seek a society that does not rely on nuclear energy," Kan said. "We should gradually and systematically reduce reliance on nuclear power and eventually aim at a society where people can live without nuclear power plants."

Japan's nuclear strategy has come under intense scrutiny since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami touched off leaks, explosions and meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant northeast of Tokyo.

Kan said he used to believe that nuclear energy could be useful as long as ample safety measures are taken, but the recent crisis forced him to change his view.

"As I've experienced the March 11 accident, I came to realize the risk of nuclear energy is too intense," Kan said. "It involves technology that cannot be controlled by our conventional concept of safety."

Kan denied he was proposing an immediate abandonment of nuclear energy policy. He did not give any details how Japan should phase out nuclear dependency while increasing the weight of alternative energy sources.

Kan gave no timetable for restarting 35 idle nuclear power reactors, including those shut down in the wake of the tsunami-triggered crisis and others undergoing regular inspections.

The government has ordered safety checks on all of Japan's 54 nuclear reactors after the disaster -- the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl. Only 19 reactors are currently operating, causing electricity shortages amid sweltering heat.

But recently, the government has added another hurdle -- new tests known as "stress tests" to examine whether reactors can withstand big earthquakes, tsunami and other risks.

Nuclear power generates about 30 percent of Japan's electricity. If nuclear reactors currently shut for maintenance were delayed in resuming operations, the country could face a power shortfall in the months ahead.

Kan has said that Japan will scrap an earlier plan to boost nuclear dependency to half of Japan's energy needs by 2030.

With the loss of the Fukushima plant, which used to supply power to Tokyo areas, the government recently imposed energy restrictions on companies, factories and shopping malls to cope with the power crunch.

Link to complete article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/13/naoto-kan-japan-prime-minister-nuclear-power-future_n_897044.html

Massey Energy's Ethic of Profits Over Safety


Excerpts from:
Massey Energy's Man-Made Hell Hole
By Jim Hightower

In March of last year, Massey Energy Corp.‘s official record book for recording unsafe conditions in its Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia said flatly: “None observed.” It turns out that this was a flat-out lie. Just one month later, Upper Big Branch exploded, killing 29 miners and devastating their families.

Massey’s in-house “observers” had indeed found safety problems — as they often did in this shoddily run, notoriously dangerous mine. But the corporation kept a dual set of books in order to mislead state and federal safety regulators.

The official record book, which Massey and all other coal giants are required to keep for review by government inspectors, is filled with such rosy reports as “none observed". But the true dangers at Upper Big Branch and other Massey mines have been secretly recorded in a set of internal books that executives kept sealed in the corporate closet.

Massey’s secret reports are, however, now out of the closet, thanks to a comprehensive, 15-month probe by a 100-member team of federal mine-safety investigators. The team’s findings reveal not only an ugly safety record, but also a truly ugly corporate culture.

The investigators concluded that Massey — an enormously profitable corporation — pushed an ethic of profits over safety. Its executives took premeditated, systematic steps to circumvent safety rules, including falsifying records, failing to maintain (and sometimes actually disabling) safety systems, and intimidating and even firing workers who tried to report hazards. The probe included interviews with 266 people — but, interestingly, 18 Massey honchos (including longtime CEO Don Blankenship) refused to be interviewed, invoking their right against self-incrimination.

No wonder they took the Fifth. Upper Big Branch was a disaster long before it exploded into an underground hell. Despite the corporate policy of deceit, the deep shaft simply had too many problems to hide. In the year before the catastrophic blast, Upper Big Branch had received more mandatory orders from government regulators to shut down unsafe areas than any other coal mine in America. The president of the United Mine Workers of America, Cecil Roberts, bluntly says that Massey’s executive suite, board of directors and the entire management structure showed “utter contempt for mine safety and health laws".

What we have here is another grotesque example of America’s “de-reg follies". Corporate lobbyists and right-wing ideologues have yoked our nation to a policy of corporate carelessness that coldly accepts worker deaths as a necessary cost of doing business...

The prize for Most Craven Performer, however, goes to Congress. Republicans and a handful of coal-backed Democrats have cynically blocked passage of tougher mine-safety laws to stop the senseless, murderous greed of coal profiteers. But now, the damning evidence assembled by the mine-safety team has both infuriated and emboldened grassroots reformers, and they do not intend to let the congressional scoundrels go unchallenged.

Gene Jones, for example, whose twin brother, Dean, was blown up in the Upper Big Branch conflagration, says he’s personally going to Washington to confront each one of them.

“If you continue to wait (on Congress),” he says, “it’s going to happen again. It’s time to do something. I’m just going to speak out the best I can and be honest about it. And make them listen to me.”

Link to complete article:
http://www.noozhawk.com/article/070511_jim_hightower_massey_energy_corp.s_man-made_hellhole/


To help, contact West Virginia Watchdog:
www.westvirginia.watchdog.org.

Link to Jim Hightower's website:
http://jimhightower.com

Thursday, July 21, 2011

NIPPON ORCAA AIR PERMIT APPEAL FILED

NIPPON AND ORCAA COLLUDE
TO LOWER POLLUTION NUMBERS

APPEAL FILED AGAINST AIR PERMIT

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Duff Badgley Mason County Progressive

July 21, 2011—Amid charges that Nippon and its regional permitting agency colluded to grossly understate toxic pollution from the new Nippon biomass project, No Biomass Burn today appealed the decision by the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) to issue Nippon a permit for the project. It was joined by six other environmental groups concerned about the serious potential health impacts of the project, now under construction.


No Biomass Burn is investigating to see if criminal or civil charges could apply against Nippon and ORCAA.

One toxic pollutant from Nippon’s project would be emitted at rates nearly 90 times greater than ORCAA’s permit for Nippon shows, according to analysis conducted by a nationally renowned air quality engineer hired by the appellants. The air engineer performed a detailed analysis of Nippon’s air permit application and ORCAA’s actual permit issued on June 22, 2011, said Duff Badgley, president of No Biomass Burn.

For this toxic pollutant, ORCAA itself lowered pollution estimates to a fraction of what Nippon first submitted, the air quality engineer’s research shows. Nippon then further reduced the already lowered estimate, Badgley said the analysis shows.

“What Nippon and ORCAA have done is completely cynical and maybe criminal,” said Badgley.“They have worked in tandem to greatly understate the amount of toxic pollution the Nippon biomass project would emit. They are preparing to poison the people of the Port Angeles region and deny the public full knowledge of that poison.”

If allowed to stand, the drastically lower pollution estimates would let Nippon avoid more rigorous government regulations and more expensive and effective pollution controls.

“That’s their scheme,” Badgley said. “Maximum pollution for minimum cost. The public be damned.”

“We were shocked by how egregiously Nippon and ORCAA have ‘cooked’ their pollution numbers,” Badgley said. “Toxic pollutants from this biomass project would be emitted in much greater amounts, sometimes vastly greater amounts, than what Nippon and ORCAA claim.”

For another highly carcinogenic pollutant, ORCAA simply ignored the pollution amount submitted by Nippon and substituted an amount only a fraction of what had been first proposed by Nippon.

Badgley said another tactic Nippon and ORCAA used to achieve radically lower pollution estimates was to selectively omit reliable EPA pollution standards.


For still other toxic pollutants, Badgley said the appeal will reveal, ORCAA and Nippon provided no basis whatsoever for their toxic emissions estimates. This is called their “Ronald McDonald database”, Badgley said.


“Our appeal is intended to smoke them out”, Badgley said about Nippon and ORCAA. “Both Nippon and ORCAA subscribe to an alternate reality created by the Washington timber industry—where burning wood is always good. But the public deserves the truth.”

For more information, contact:
Duff Badgley
No Biomass Burn
206-283-0621
duff@nobiomassburn.org
www.nobiomassburn.org

REPORTERS:

Peninsula Daily News (Port Angeles) Reporter Tom Callis
Phone: 360-417-3532

Email: tom.callis@peninsuladailynews.com

The Daily News City (Longview) Editor Andre Stepankowsky
Phone: 360-577-2520
Email:
andre@tdn.com

Link to article: "Three groups appeal Longview Fibre's biomass permit"
http://tdn.com/news/local/article_fa855018-a904-11e0-a1ba-001cc4c03286.html

Seattle Steam Lethal Pollution Exposed



STOP BIOMASS INCINERATORS IN DOWNTOWN SEATTLE

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Duff Badgley
Mason County Progressive

This video documents a July 15 slideshow by No Biomass Burn president, Duff Badgley, filmed just two blocks from the polluting incinerator in Seattle. The video exposes the lethal pollution now being emitted by a Seattle Steam biomass incinerator one block form Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle.
The video documents how the Seattle Steam biomass incinerator:
  • Emits more deadly particulate matter (PM) than coal combustion would;
  • PM can kill "on the very day of exposure" when particulate levels are high, according to the American Lung Association;
  • PM kills newborns aged 28-365 days, according to published studies;
  • Nano-PM is the smallest and most lethal PM;
  • Nano-PM is so small it enters our bloodstreams directly through our lungs and attacks our bodies systemically.
  • Nano-PM is completely unregulated;
  • Nano-PM cannot be stopped by any pollution control device;
  • No bodily defenses--including the blood/brain barier and the placenta--can stop nano-PM;
  • Emits more nitrogen oxides than coal combustion would;
  • Nitrogen oxides form acid rain threatening waterlife and also form ground level ozone that causes asthma in children;
  • Emits more carbon dioxide than coal combustion would;
  • Carbon dioxide is the leading greenhouse gas causing climate change.
No Biomass Burn has partnered with Market Air Quality (MAQ) to fight the Seattle Steam biomass incinerator. MAQ is composed of residents living near Pike Place Market and friends.

MAQ's website is: www.marketair.org.
No Biomass Burn's website is: www.nobiomassburn.org.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A CHOICE FOR PORT OF SHELTON

Mason County, USA
Treasure or Tragedy?


Our Community's Resources Are Precious Commodities

Submitted to Shelton Blog by John Cox
Mason County Progressive

The Port of Shelton has a bad habit. It's called Biomass InSINeration.


Commissioner Jay Hupp and friends just can't let go of a bad idea. They are actively seeking a replacement for the recently departed ADAGE incinerator project. They have been talking biomass with a group from Oregon. As citizens and voters, I think we need to know what is going on with our Port.

We all learned a lot during our fight against ADAGE. We learned just how dangerous biomass incinerator emissions are for our health, and the health of the entire planet. We also learned how dangerous electing sociopaths to public office can be.

A sociopath is defined as someone whose behavior is antisocial, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience. With all that we know about the inherent problems with biomass incineration, there are still at least two commissioners and a director at the Port who want to bring one or more incinerators to our neighborhood. I call that sociopathic behavior.

Massive polluting industry is not a virtue for any community, and would be a nightmare for a rural community like ours. It is truly difficult to understand the mentality that would want to turn this beautiful area into another Tacoma for the sake of "development". The Port should be focusing its efforts on low negative impact industry and tourism, not smoke stacks or toxic waste from plastic manufacturers.

As the I-5 corridor becomes more and more polluted, crowded and nightmarish, Mason County will look better and better to visitors. If the Port, the EDC, Simpson/Solomon, the County Commissioners, and the Chamber Pot don't screw it up, the visitors will come...but they won't be looking for smokestacks, PCBs or toxic oysters.

What visitors will want to find here is clean air, clean water, beautiful scenery, etc. These are our community's resources which are all becoming very precious commodities these days. These are our treasures and, if protected, also present great possibilities for our prosperity.

Photo by Christine

Monday, July 18, 2011

THE MASON PRIVATIZED AFFAIR

MORE LOST THAN JUST A WORD IN A TITLE

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis
Mason County Progressive

It should come as no surprise to Mason County residents that our community is facing some serious problems. But the good news is that summertime is here and the long awaited Fair will soon be upon us. Not the Mason County Fair, of course, but a privatized version called the Mason Area Fair.


So here’s the recap:


The County bailed on the Port-owned fairgrounds three years before the lease was to expire, and the Port made it clear it has no intention of getting into the “Fair business". So after thoroughly searching the area immediately under his nose for candidates to run the Fair, Port Director, John Dobson, leased the whole shebang to Northwest Event Organizers, Inc., a local company owned by a couple of his friends.

Now this was not an entirely bad idea, as the owners of Northwest Event Organizers did a pretty good job running the Mason Area Fair last year. But the privatizing of what is essentially a publicly funded celebration of community pride should only be considered after all other possibilities have been exhausted.


A better alternative to privatization may be for Mason County to keep its name on the Fair, but have the Port of Shelton pick up the tab; Lord knows they have money. In this manner, the Fair remains a civic event, and the arrangement between overlapping municipalities stands as a shining example of government cooperation. The Port could then hire whatever special event organizer it chooses, on a set fee basis, and pocket the profits; a perfect melding of private industry and public domain.


Unfortunately, none of this is likely to happen.
Am I suggesting having no Fair is better than one that is privatized? Of course not; to the contrary, Northwest Event Organizers should be commended for stepping up to the plate. But they are not at issue here, Port management is.

The bottom line is that our community deserves a real “County Fair", and the Port of Shelton is perfectly positioned to make that happen. Citizens need to know that by changing a “County Fair” to an “Area Fair”, they stand to lose more than just a word in the title; they lose a sense of ownership and communal identity at a time when it is needed most, and that in itself is no small matter.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

KLAMATH FALLS REQUESTS SUPPORT

Klamath Falls River Basin as it is in the present

SAVE OUR RURAL OREGON

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Paul Fouch Mason County Progressive

Save Our Rural Oregon (SORO) is a group of concerned citizens in Klamath Falls, Oregon who are fighting the siting of two biomass plants located a mile apart in the Klamath River Basin.


We are requesting your support in fighting this assault on our community which will ruin its future by making it a slave to the timber companies, and hold us in a cycle of poverty.


Snow Geese visit the Klamath Falls River Basin

Most tragically, it will take away forever one of the area's most valuable assets, the scenic Klamath River Basin, and industrialize it with biomass plants. One of the projects is about 2 months away from ground breaking.


Primarily, we ask your support to please email our local politicians and agencies, and tell them they should be ashamed of themselves for what they are doing to our community, and that they must put a stop to this assault.

Klamath Falls River Basin as it could be in the future

Email addresses and a sample letter to send can be found on our web site:
StopKlamathBiomass.com.


We thank you very much!


Paul Fouch

Paul Fouch, President of Save Our Rural Oregon, is a professional engineer who moved to Ashland in 1964 and to Klamath Falls in 1973. He taught three years at Southern Oregon University, 12 years at Oregon Institute of Technology and has 27 years of experience in private industry.

Photos courtesy of Stop Klamath Biomass

Friday, July 15, 2011

WA DNR "Greenwashing" Biomass Study

Q13 Fox TV News Interview Slams
Goldmark, DNR and Biomass Study

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Duff Badgley Mason County Progressive

-- NO BIOMASS BURN PRESS RELEASE --

ANOTHER FRONT IN GOLDMARK’S WAR AGAINST

OUR FORESTS, OUR CLIMATE, AND OUR LIVES

July 14--Calling the not-yet-finished “biomass inventory study” from WA DNR a “greenwash” with a foregone conclusion, No Biomass Burn said the study will recommend increased takings from our forests to fuel highly polluting biomass and biofuel projects.

“We see this as another front in DNR chief Peter Goldmark’s war on our forests, our climate, and our lives,” said No Biomass Burn president Duff Badgley.

Biomass combustion emits more carbon dioxide stoking climate change, more nitrogen oxides causing asthma and ozone, and more lethal particulate matter pollution than coal combustion, per unit of energy produced, Badgley said EPA-accepted studies show.

The University of Washington Forestry School conducting the study for DNR is notorious for its pro-logging industry bias. Garbage-in, garbage-out, said Badgley. And DNR itself, under Goldmark, has become a zealots’ hotbed relentlessly promoting biomass projects ranging from incinerators to the new jet fuel law that one prominent activist called ‘lunacy”.

Citizen activists across the state have been fighting 7 proposed biomass incinerators that, if built, would have burned 2.0M tons of forest wood per year.

Activists have defeated two of the proposed biomass incinerators—one outside Shelton in Mason County and one proposed for the campus of Evergreen State College that had the backing of DNR.

“That leaves us fighting 5 biomass incinerators,” Badgley said, “totaling 1.3M tons of forest wood burned each year. There is nothing remotely sustainable in that figure.”

One of those 5 campaigns is opposing the Seattle Steam biomass incinerator now burning waste ‘urban wood’ just 2 blocks from Pike Place Market in Seattle. Another campaign is fighting the Nippon biomass incinerator proposed in Port Angeles that is a DNR pilot project.

“DNR treats our forests as vast tree plantations, Badgley said,“ to be sprayed with synthetic fertilizers and lethal herbicides like dioxin, then clear-cut with ever-increasing frequency.”

Badgley predicted the DNR study will recommend more removal of forest biomass with these impacts:
1. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from burning forest wood will soar;
2. Forests soils will suffer nutrient loss vital to their renewal;
3. Forest wildlife will be deprived of habitat;
4. Increased sedimentation of forest streams will result;
5. GHGs from additional equipment working in forests will increase.
“Those 5 biomass incinerators we are fighting,” said Badgley, “would emit 1.4M tons of CO2 each year.”

CONTACT:
Duff Badgley
No Biomass Burn

duff@nobiomassburn.org

www.nobiomassburn.org


SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

This No Biomass Burn press release is being circulated in conjunction with a Q13 News on-camera interview with Duff Badgley on 7/14/11. The DNR biomass study story will air next week on Q13 in a morning slot. The exact times, when known, will be posted here.

Uncle Sam's CO2 Damage Estimate Flawed


Excerpts from:
Economists Find Flaws in Federal Estimate of Climate Damage
By Douglas Fischer

A new report concludes that each ton of carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere inflicts as much as $900 in environmental harm - almost 45 times the amount the federal government uses when setting regulations. The gap, advocates say, disguises the true value of emissions reductions.

Uncle Sam's estimate of the damage caused by each ton of carbon dioxide is fundamentally flawed and "grossly understates" the potential impacts of climate change, according to an analysis released July 12 by a group of economists.

The study found the true cost of those emissions to be far beyond the $21 per ton derived by the federal government.

The figure, commonly known as the "social cost of carbon," is used by federal agencies when weighing the costs and benefits of emissions-cutting regulations, such as air conditioner efficiency standards and greenhouse gas emissions limits for light trucks.

A truer value, according the Economics for Equity and the Environment Network, an umbrella organization of economists who advocate for environmental protection, could be as high as $900 per ton—equivalent to adding $9 to each gallon of gas. Viewed another way, with the U.S. emitting the equivalent of close to 6 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, the higher figure suggests that avoiding those emissions could save the nation $5.3 trillion annually, one-third of the nation's economic output.

A second, separate report released July 12 buttressed the argument, finding that the government routinely underestimates the benefits of avoiding climate change when conducting cost-benefit analysis on regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

This second report, published jointly by the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank, and the Environmental Law Institute, found that government models on climate impacts often contain "dramatic simplifications and assumptions"—such as when calculating the social cost of carbon—that underplay the benefits society gains by curbing emissions.

Together, the two reports suggest policy makers are looking at a distorted picture as they assess the economic impacts of climate regulations.

The issue has gained urgency as efforts to create a cap-and-trade system or impose a carbon tax have stalled in Congress and federal rules—via the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—become the primary vehicle for reducing emissions.

"Based on what we know today, the government's current range of social costs is very likely a serious underestimation of what we think those costs will be," said Kristen Sheeran, executive director of the E3 Network.

"It does not reflect the urgency of the climate crisis," she added. "It could lead to a degree of inaction on climate change that frankly is not supported by either the economics or the science at this point."

A lower social cost of carbon—particularly when combined with an underestimate of the benefits of reducing emissions—makes justifying expensive emissions-cutting regulations much harder, advocates say.

But how to value the cost of climate change has proven to be a contentious issue.

Computer models attempting to assess the economic impacts of climate change are, in many cases, streamlined affairs that can only look at impacts broadly – at a scale of hundreds of miles, instead of, say, at a particular watershed, township, or even state.

Economists at the E3 Network, an umbrella group of about 200 economists, contend many potentially costly impacts are missed: Sweltering inland temperatures are averaged with cooler coastal weather. Or an intense, deadly rainstorm never shows up in a monthly average rainfall tally.

That leads to considerable uncertainty about the severity of the damages. For example, a global model used in part by the federal government to derive the $21-per-ton price finds that a 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (2.5 degrees Celsius) temperature rise will cost 1.8 percent of the world GDP. But University of California, Berkeley, economist Michael Hanemann, conducting a detailed review of that estimate as it applies just to the United States, found it should be four times as large.

The point, say E3 economists, is that when the latest science on cost of climate extremes, the pace of global change, and how to account for those damages in the future are incorporated into the federal government's mathematics, the picture changes dramatically.

"Now that we know how much we could end up paying to endure the impacts of climate change, investing in reducing our emissions is clearly the prudent option," Frank Ackerman, an economist with the Stockholm Environment Institute and one of the report's two authors, said in a statement. "It's the difference between servicing your car, or waiting for it to break down on the highway."

Officials at the EPA were unavailable for comment Tuesday evening. Michael Greenstone, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor who led the federal effort to price the cost of climate impacts, was similarly unavailable.

Link to complete article:

http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2011/07/climate-change-costs

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Clean Energy Subsidies for a Dirty Industry

Excerpts from:
Groups Call for End to Taxpayer Subsidies
for Biomass Saying It Is “Dirty Energy”

Tallahassee, Florida: A group of health, clean air, civil rights, and fiscal responsibility groups announced today their concerns about the continued use of taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies for biomass combustion power projects being promoted as “clean renewable energy.” The network includes Gulf Citizens for Clean Renewable Energy, the NAACP, American Lung Association in Florida, Florida League of Conservation Voters, and Floridians Against Incinerators in Disguise.

“Proposed biomass combustion for electricity emits dangerous air pollution, dries up water supplies, and damages forests and ecosystems. This form of energy is neither “green” nor “renewable” and should not be receiving “clean energy” taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies,” said Dr. William Sammons, a pediatrician with national expertise in the health impacts of biomass.
According to Dr. Ron Saff, an asthma and immunology specialist in Tallahassee, “Biomass combustion to make electricity emits “nano particulates” containing large amounts of absorbed or condensed toxic air pollutants that can pass directly into the circulatory system and blood stream. Leading medical state and national medical organizations oppose subsidies for biomass energy because of its adverse health and climate impacts. It emits more carbon dioxide per megawatt of energy produced than fossil fuels, and contributes to asthma, heart disease, cancer, chronic bronchitis, and risk of premature death. Many areas of Florida already have terrible air quality, and yet Florida has plans for 10 more of these incinerators,” Dr. Saff added.

One recent example is the “fast tracked” biomass combustion project in Port St. Joe, in Gulf County. According to NAACP State Vice President, Dale Landry, “This dirty biomass project will be located in an African American and low income area in Port St. Joe. This includes the Millview community of about 300 families who are living on top of a toxic waste dump left behind by the St. Joe paper company. The government has refused to clean it up and now wants to use our taxpayer money to put in this toxic, polluting biomass project. The national NAACP and others are asking Governor Scott and Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Vinyard to investigate to avoid violating the federal Civil Rights Act,” Landry added.


“Most biomass facilitates are proposed for communities of color and working poor around the U.S. -who are already burdened with a disproportionate amount of industrial pollution,” stated Ananda Lee Tan, with the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. “Almost every week, another community stands up to successfully stop these expensive, toxic smokestacks from being built in their backyard.”


A June, 2011 report, “Biomass Electricity: Clean Energy Subsidies for a Dirty Industry” says over the next 3 years, biomass projects will cost American taxpayers $10 billion. “Congress can help reduce the budget deficit by cutting these subsidies and at the same time save lives and decrease health care costs. I hope that Governor Scott will not be complacent with industry as they push these incinerators to garner taxpayer dollars, as he has been calling for austerity measures,” said Meg Sheehan, spokesperson for the Biomass Accountability Project, which issued the report.

The 100 megawatt biomass project in Gainesville, Florida is being financed with loans from multination investors, and most recently the Japanese trading house Itochu Corp said on Wednesday July 6th it would join a $500 million project to build a 100-megawatt biomass power plant in Gainesville (see “4” below). According to locals fighting the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, the U.S. will incur further debt in using taxpayer money to pay back foreign investors, in direct contradiction to industry claims that biomass energy will help U.S. energy independence. “There’s no difference between incurring more debt to pay off foreign investors and buying oil from the Mideast,” stated Karen Orr, Chairwoman of the Energy Justice Network and Gainesville resident. “Every way you look at it, biomass energy is a lose-lose for Americans."


Link to complete article:
http://www.actforclimatejustice.org/2011/07/groups-call-for-end-to-taxpayer-subsidies-for-biomass-saying-it-is-%E2%80%9Cdirty-energy%E2%80%9D/

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

PORT IN LEGAL JEOPARDY YET AGAIN?

Jack Miles speaking at 1/31/11 ORCAA ADAGE Permit Hearing

IN DEFENSE OF TERESA REBO

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Jack Miles
Mason County Progressive

TO: Constituents of Mason County Port District 216

I trust each and every citizen can see what is really happening at the Port of Shelton and what is being attempted there.

Regarding the letter of censure presented to me at the 7/5/11 Port meeting, please read RCW 42.23. This chapter is about conflicts of interest and using an elected position for one's own gain, or using private information for gain or profit.

So the question becomes, do I stop doing my job as a Commissioner because I am running to retain my position at the Port? If you read the RCW completely, you will ask yourself, where does this apply?

Comments I provided to the local blogs were in response to Commissioners Hupp and Wallitner, and had to do with their not taking responsibility for John Dobson's actions following the firing of whistleblower Teresa Rebo.

My question to the Commissioners was simple, because I wanted to get right to the issue at hand.

The question was: "Do you believe Mr. Dobson was justified in sending harassing emails to Teresa Rebo; coercing her to sign the 'Last Change Agreement and Disciplinary Action Plan'; and then subsequently firing her?" Both Commissioners Jay Hupp and Tom Wallitner responded by saying, "Absolutely." If this were not true, why is Mr. Dobson still employed at the Port of Shelton?

I also found out that Mr. Dobson used Suzanne Michael, the outside counsel and same attorney who hired the investigator to address/whitewash Teresa Rebo’s concerns about the Port for the termination process. This same Suzanne Michael drafted the “Last Chance Agreement and Disciplinary Action Plan” that Mr. Dobson was coercing Ms. Rebo to sign.

Here is some background on the event:

On Monday at 8:21 am, Mr. Dobson sent Ms. Rebo a message to her personal email account, well knowing Ms. Rebo was already at work at the Port, and does not access her personal email account from work. The email stated that Ms. Reob had only until 10 am that same day to sign the "Last Chance Agreement and Disciplinary Action Plan" or she would be terminated.

Mr. Dobson most definitely did not give Ms. Rebo adequate notice that this document needed to be signed by 10 am, June 20, 2011. (This is a good example of how Mr. Dobson operates.) This action by Mr. Dobson was designed to try to establish some sort of pretext critical of Ms. Rebo's conduct at the Port.

I now direct your attention to the November 2, 2010 meeting minutes that can be found on the Port website. There you will find Mr. Dobson referring to Teresa Rebo's job performance "as doing an excellent job".

You don't give employees a raise if they are doing a bad job, right? Ms. Rebo was given a raise within her first year of employment for doing an "excellent job", as John Dobson himself stated.

Let me say this with confidence: Ms. Rebo is guilty of one thing and one thing only. She is guilty of having the highest work ethic and integrity I have ever seen.

I invite you to visit www.masoncountyprogressive.net. There, you can read in more damning detail what I have stated about this issue in the 6/25/11 post titled "Port Director Dobson's Revenge".

Bottom Line: Commissioners Hupp and Wallitner have put the Port in legal jeopardy yet again.

And again, Mr. Dobson has failed to exercise acceptable judgment in the use of taxpayers' money. Perhaps it is time to renew calls for Mr. Dobson's resignation and/or termination.

I also believe the Commissioners need to be held accountable for their "lack of action" after the firing of the valued employee, Teresa Rebo. However, only you, the citizens, can petition to recall Commissioner Jay Hupp and Commissioner Tom Wallitner for their attempts to protect their "friend", John Dobson, and cover up his questionable actions.

Re-elect the only Commissioner who is not afraid to take a stand.

Jack Miles
Commissioner, Port of Shelton
www.WeBackJackMiles.com

Photo by Christine

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:


Jack Miles has submitted a similar statement to the Shelton-Mason County Journal as a letter to the Editor.

Link to Jack Miles' previous 6/25/11 post
titled "Port Director Dobson's Revenge": http://masoncountyprogressive.blogspot.com/2011/06/port-director-dobsons-revenge.html

Port Voted 2 to 1 to Sign Letter of Censure


Excerpts from:
Port Commission Censures Miles
By Dedrick Allan

The Port of Shelton Commission has censured Commissioner Jack Miles for disclosing information gained during an Executive Session. The Port Commission voted two to one Tuesday (7/5/11) to sign the Letter of Censure drafted by Commissioner Jay Hupp and addressed to Commissioner Miles.


The letter states that after a June 21, 2011 Executive Session Miles made comments that were published "in several local internet sites, (i.e. blogs)" that "deliberately and intentionally disclosed confidential information" gained through the closed session...


The letter concludes by insisting Miles "not convey impressions, through any methods of communication that would indicate" he represents the Commission on any issue unless authorized to do so beforehand by the Commission as a body.

Commissioner Miles took exception to the letter and tore it into several pieces saying Commissioner Hupp didn't have the authority to draft such a document.


Link to complete article:
http://masoncountydailynews.com/news/news-page/10002-port-commission-censures-miles

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude

Simpson Applies for Air Permit Renewal

Simpson Submits ORCAA Air Permit Renewal Application
Public Comments Accepted Until 8/15/11


FROM:
"Jason Dose" jasond@ci.shelton.wa.us


Good Morning.


You are receiving this e-mail because you have expressed interest in the
proposed Solomon biomass facility to be located on the Oakland Bay waterfront, within the Simpson Lumber Mill Industrial site, in Shelton, Washington.

This e-mail is being sent to you as a courtesy and clarification that
Simpson Lumber Company has submitted a renewal application for their existing Air Operating Permit (AOP) through the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA). Here is a link to the notice and application materials on the ORCAA website:

http://www.orcaa.org/public-involvement/draft-air-operating-permits/#simpson

It is my understanding that this application is for renewal of Simpson's
existing AOP and is not related to the Solomon proposal. Questions regarding the application should be directed to ORCAA staff at the contact information provided in the notice and application materials (see link above).

Jason Dose

Senior Planner


City of Shelton

525 West Cota Street

Shelton, WA 98584


Phone: (360) 432-5102
FAX: (360) 426-7746
E-mail: jasond@ci.shelton.wa.us


SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Link to Simpson AOP info on ORCAA website:

http://www.orcaa.org/public-involvement/draft-air-operating-permits/#simpson

Link to Mark Goodin email form to submit comments:

http://www.orcaa.org/about/staff-directory/email-mark-goodin/

Simpson AOP Public Comment Period Begins


Excerpt from:
Simpson Air Permit Renewal

By Dedrick Allan

The Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) is accepting public comments on a draft Air Operating Permit (AOP) renewal for Simpson Lumber Company's Mill on the Shelton Waterfront.

This is the second time the company is renewing its permit which will be in effect for five years. According to ORCAA's Dan Nelson, this renewal has nothing to do with the Solomon biomass facility proposed to be built by the Simpson.


The draft AOP contains enforceable conditions designed to ensure compliance with applicable air pollutant emission limitations and control requirements. Simpson’s Shelton lumber mill requires an AOP because it has the potential to emit more than 100 tons per year of several regulated air pollutants including carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter.


Copies of the draft AOP Renewal and the associated Technical Support Document (TSD) for Simpson are available for review at the Shelton branch of the Timberland Public Library, at ORCAA’s office in Olympia, or online at
www.orcaa.org.

Comments on the renewal will be accepted until August 15th. Although this type of renewal usually doesn't warrant a public hearing, Nelson told MCDN.com that should there be enough public input, a hearing may be held.

Link to complete article:

http://masoncountydailynews.com/news/news-page/10192-simpson-air-permit-renewal

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

WA Airports Note General Aviation Decline

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis


Excerpt from:
Snohomish County airports note decline in aviation
By Bill Sheets

EVERETT, Wash. —

The skies around Paine Field might seem as abuzz as ever with small planes.


The numbers tell a different story.


In 2000, more than 213,000 takeoffs and landings of aircraft took place at Snohomish County's airport. In 2010, that number was 110,270 - a drop of nearly half.


Most of that decline was among small, private aircraft, airport officials say. Paine Field also serves Boeing test flights, aircraft maintenance businesses and some military and vintage aircraft.


The numbers fluctuated somewhat in between, but have reflected what's happening nationwide, in the state and at other airports in the county: Fewer people are flying their own planes, and fewer people are learning to fly.


Arlington Airport and Harvey Field in Snohomish report a downturn in activity as well.


The reasons are not surprising. A downward spiral that started after 9/11 has been accelerated by a deep recession and rising fuel prices, cutting into discretionary income.


"People just aren't spending their money," said Dave Wheeler of Everett, president of the Paine Field chapter of the Washington Pilots Association. "My personal flying has been darn near zero."


Wheeler also is co-owner of the Northwest Aviation Center, a flight school at the Arlington Airport.


Nationwide, general aviation flights declined more than 5 percent in 2010, continuing a decade long trend, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. General aviation includes all flights other than commercial airlines, air taxis and military.


Flying is down all over Washington state, said Jamelle Garcia, executive director of the Washington Aviation Association, a statewide chamber-of-commerce type interest group.


"You've got to put gas in your car, you've got to fix the leak in your roof, you've got to clothe your kids and feed them," said Garcia, who runs an airport management business based in Auburn.


Between the economy and fuel prices, "it's kind of a double whammy, and aviation is the first to suffer and the last to recover," he said. "People really think two and three and four times before they decide to take a private airplane."


The price of aviation fuel is more than $6 a gallon, roughly double what it was four years ago, flyers say.


Link to complete article:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015202964_apwasmallaviationdecline1stldwritethru.html