Friday, September 21, 2007

News Digest for September 21, 2007

All the links in today’s news digest lead to current stories. Please note that some media organizations update their web sites regularly, which may result in broken links in the future.


Genial • \JEE-nee-ul\ • adjective – 1: favorable to growth or comfort: mild *2: marked by or diffusing sympathy or friendliness 3: displaying or marked by genius

“Come on in. Set a spell,” drawled the genial Mr. Clampett



Oregon farm community protests proposed natural gas pipeline – About 200 people attended a federal hearing on a proposed 117-mile buried natural gas pipeline Oregon LNG wants to build from Astoria to Molalla, and most of them were mad. (The Associated Press)

Montana – Highwood plant has objectors within co-op membership. As three Montana cities - Missoula, Helena and Bozeman - turn down a chance to plug into the Highwood Generating Station, some co-op members in south-central Montana wish they could do the same. (Billings Gazette)

British Columbia – 196-megawatt independent power project among biggest. Vancouver-based Plutonic Power signs $500-million construction contract (The Vancouver Sun)

California – Thousands of PG&E customers stand to get refunds for billing violations. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. must refund $35 million to customers who received long-overdue or estimated bills in violation of state rules, California regulators decided Thursday. (San Francisco Chronicle)

North Dakota – Basin plans second power line extension. Basin Electric Power Cooperative is planning a second major power transmission line in western North Dakota (Bismarck Tribune)

Kentucky – Utility Fined $11.4 Million for Acid Rain. A Kentucky utility has agreed to pay the largest-ever fine for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act's acid rain program, the Environmental Protection Agency said yesterday. (Washington Post)

California – Bad PG&E cable causes Sunset power outage

California – Energy-saving moves may pay off for utilities (LA Times),1,4564880.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california&ctrack=1&cset=true

New York ISO outlines its plan for meeting future power demand (Platts Energy News)

State regulators defend FERC role in policing financial markets (Platts Energy News)

News Release – FERC Announces Creation Of Office Of Electric Reliability (Power On Line)

News Release – Commission acts to assure independence of PJM market monitoring. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today acted to assure independence of market monitoring in the PJM Interconnection and preserve the integrity of PJM market operations by directing all parties to enter into a settlement process. (FERC Web Site)


Tribe doesn't have right to kill seals, NOAA says – Squaxin representatives reject implied link to deaths. The Squaxin Island tribe does not have authority under the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act to kill harbor seals that interfere with its gillnet salmon fishery in South Sound (The Olympian)

Clear passage for fish at stake – Salmon and trout would have many more places to spawn and grow if more than 1,000 state-owned road culverts didn’t stand in the way, biologists say. (The News Tribune, Tacoma)

Left high and dry, salmon make powerful friends in Nevada – The fishermen who remember salmon running thick in Northern Nevada's rivers are gone. (Las Vegas Sun)

Reviving ocean habitat: Fishing limits mean businesses will see modest hit; some worry staffing inadequate to protect the 29 marine areas (Contra Costa Times)

A stay, at least briefly, for trees on Columbia levee – A drainage district fears the loss of U.S. certification, but residents say the cutting adds flood risks (The Oregonian)


Irony Watch! Remodeled barge to transport biofuels on Columbia River “…barge remains the most efficient mode of transport compared with railcars and trucks in load capacities, fuel consumption and emissions…” Ed Note: barging made possible by Columbia Basin Dams (Tri-City Herald)

Farmers And Scientists Search For Super Fuel Crop – Growing canola to make biodiesel isn't exactly setting Northwest farmers' hearts aflutter. Government statistics show just a slight increase in canola plantings, despite layers of incentives to support homegrown fuel. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Wind Power's a Breeze in Europe – The EU's renewable power sector, led by wind, is growing, and those who build wind farms are having trouble keeping up with demand (Business Week)


California – Energy nonprofit group is target of investigation: Berkeley is investigating alleged misuse of funds at a nonprofit group it created 22 years ago to pursue energy conservation after firing its director in August. (Contra Costa Times)

Reduce Your Energy Costs (The Motley Fool)


Record sea ice melt this summer larger than Texas and Alaska – Shattering previous records, the sea ice in the Arctic shrank 1 million square miles more this summer than the average melt over 25 years, an area larger than Alaska and Texas combined, according to NASA satellite data released Thursday. (San Francisco Chronicle)


Cities turning off plans for Wi-Fi - Complexity, cost doom efforts to create access (USA Today)

Portland, OR – Wireless alternative to blanket city in 2008: WiMAX technology is used in other parts of Oregon and will be included in some Intel laptops (The Oregonian)

U.S. Helps Bring WiMax to Rural Vietnam (Broadband Reports, Note: comments may include PG-13 language)

Sen. Smith: Ban Internet tax forever – Oregon U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, chairman of the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force, on Thursday called for immediate action to permanently ban taxes on the Internet. (Portland Business Journal)

NY Times Editorial: Regulating Microsoft – Microsoft’s resounding defeat in a European antitrust case establishes welcome principles that should be adopted in the United States as guideposts for the future development of the information economy.

The doctor will e-mail you now – Secure connections offer access to medical records, test results (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)


Peninsula weighs in as Canada's dollar reaches parity with greenback (Peninsula Daily News)


'God' apparently responds to lawsuit;_ylt=Agguc3qijbKkCT_KeUFuBg_tiBIF

Government wants kids to get hunting – The citizens of Alberta just aren't going after big game at the pace they once did, according to the government of the western Canadian province, but a remedy is in the works.;_ylt=AmiKhqKBXRpScugmJEHMD9ftiBIF

Cop faces heat over squad car joy ride – Prosecutors have filed two misdemeanor charges against a former police officer who authorities say crashed a squad car while showing off for three female college students riding with him.;_ylt=AgNjJymtO42_PsdbDpD9vUrtiBIF

Errant text message leads to drug bust – A man who thought he was asking a friend about a drug deal instead sent a text message to the state police and was arrested, authorities said.;_ylt=Asp0ShouhF409bcyMdk44QDtiBIF

Thousands of hyphens perish as English marches on – About 16,000 words have succumbed to pressures of the Internet age and lost their hyphens in a new edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.;_ylt=Ap5AcPE1Up1qKHOn9cXsrCXtiBIF