Thursday, November 29, 2007

Energy News Digest for November 29, 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.


- Snow Possible Beginning Saturday
- Mason County PUD No. 3 voices concerns to BPA
- Energy Northwest will pursue $1.5 billion plant in Kalama
- Montana – NorthWestern, counsel eye deal on rate hike request.
- Three Linked to Enron Fraud Plead Guilty
- Congressional negotiators Close In on Energy Measure
- New Administrator for Southwestern Power Administration started career at BPA
- Clark County – Wild parakeets' nests destroyed
- Senator to keep EPA focused on Duwamish
- Top scientists: Klamath salmon need more water
- California – New Sacramento delta water diversion debate bubbles up.
- Clean-tech startups in state attract record investment
- Yahoo prepares to open data center in Quincy
- U.S. not up to speed on broadband
- Passing 1% property tax limit may not stop local districts
- Shelton’s First Street Closed For Gas Contamination Clean Up
- Fire shuts key Canada-U.S. pipeline
- Port Orchard – Protesters Plan Rally Outside Soldier's Funeral.

These and links to more stories in today’s Energy News Digest


Cetacean • \SIT-ay-shee-un\ • noun – Any of an order (Cetacea) of aquatic mostly marine mammals that includes the whales, dolphins, porpoises, and related forms and that have a torpedo-shaped nearly hairless body, paddle-shaped forelimbs but no hind limbs, one or two nares opening externally at the top of the head, and a horizontally flattened tail used for locomotion

Alfred stood along the Columbia River, mouth agape. The cetacean show of an Orca whale chasing a sea lion, which was chasing a salmon into the Bonneville Dam fish ladder was ludicrous. The best part to Alfred was the whale tour boat that was valiantly trying to keep up with the unfolding spectacle. The tour boat operator continued to bellow that this was all a part of nature’s circle of life…and that no dams were hurt in the production of the show.


Forecast for Mason County, Washington

SNOW POSSIBLE BEGINNING SATURDAY – The National Weather Service is saying that snow is possible beginning Saturday. Forecasters say a northerly flow will drive colder and drier Canadian air south into Western Washington Friday and Friday night. A surface low pressure system is expected to form off the south coast of Vancouver Island on Saturday and spread moisture into the cool air mass in place over Western Washington. Rain and snow showers are expected to develop Saturday afternoon and increase Saturday night. Locations away from the water and especially with a little elevation will have the best chance of some light snow accumulations. Temperatures near the water will be marginal to support all snow with a rain and snow mix. At this time, it is too soon to tell how much snow accumulation will occur. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

News Release – BPA offers safety tips, urges caution for series of storms headed to the region (Bonneville Power Administration)


MASON COUNTY PUD NO. 3 VOICES CONCERNS TO B-P-A – Officials with Mason County P.U.D. No. 3 voiced their concerns with the Bonneville Power Administration. Tuesday during the P.U.D. 3 Board of Commissioners' meeting, two account executives from the B-P-A, Kirsten Watts and Lynn Aspass, briefed the P.U.D. on a variety of subjects including the utility's transmission request for Nine Canyon, Bonneville's “Network Open Season”, long-term regional dialogue, tiered rates, and the recent court ruling against the B-P-A relating to payments to investor owned utilities. P.U.D. officials told Watts and Aspass that they do not believe Bonneville is listening to them, that the B-P-A is not following the rules, and they feel that some of what Bonneville is requiring public utilities to sign is blackmail. Watts and Aspass told the P.U.D. they have noted the concerns and will take them back to Bonneville officials. The P.U.D. will need to sign a new contract with B-P-A by December of next year. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Energy Northwest will pursue $1.5 billion plant in Kalama – Energy Northwest will continue its effort to build a $1.5 billion petcoke/ coal gasification plant at the Port of Kalama, but its next move is unclear. (The Daily News, Longview)

Montana – NorthWestern, counsel eye deal on rate hike request. NorthWestern Energy and the state lawyer representing utility consumers are trying to strike a deal on the company's $42 million annual rate hike request, with the consumer counsel angling for a smaller increase. (The Missoulian)

Three Linked to Enron Fraud Plead Guilty – Three British bankers who were set to go to trial for their roles in a fraudulent scheme with former Enron chief financial officer Andrew S. Fastow changed their pleas to guilty on Wednesday. (Associated Press, via the Washington Post)

Negotiators Close In on Energy Measure – Bill Raises Ethanol, Efficiency Targets; Fuel Credits for Auto Industry at Issue (Washington Post)

Coal-fired power plants are opposed: 7 proposed or being considered in state – While Gov. Jennifer Granholm is in California hawking Michigan's capabilities as a center of new energy technology, seven new coal-fueled power plants are formally proposed or under serious discussion in Michigan. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via Power Marketers Online)

Dept. of Energy Names New Administrator for Southwestern Power Administration – …selection of Jon Worthington as the new Administrator of the Southwestern Area Power Administration (Started his career at BPA) (The News Blaze)

Municipal Bond Deals Squeezed By Credit Crisis – The widening credit crunch is making it harder for cities and school systems to get money for buildings, ballparks and other vital projects (Washington Post)

Utilities address next generation of customer care -- web-self service (Utility Automation & Engineering)


Clark County – Wild parakeets' nests destroyed (The Columbian)

49 bird species in state on watch list (McClatchy Newspapers, via the Olympian)

Senator to keep EPA focused on Duwamish – Murray calls polluted river city's 'dark secret' (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Top scientists: Klamath salmon need more water – More water should be released down the Klamath River to help salmon while studies are honed to provide for better management (Times-Standard, Eureka, CA)

California – New Sacramento delta water diversion debate bubbles up. A state advisory panel is expected this week to rekindle debate over one of the hottest political issues in state history - a peripheral canal to divert water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta largely for use in Southern California. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Pick your river carefully for big salmon – River fishing wasn't too bad in Western Washington last week. Not all rivers were kicking out fish, but in rivers that were, angling was steady and consistent. (The Olympian)


Clean-tech startups in state attract record investment – Washington clean-tech startups attracted record venture capital during the first nine months of the year, positioning the state as the fourth-biggest beneficiary of clean-tech dollars. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Plugging in to renewables – Google Inc. could stand as Exhibit A for the argument that the United States can retain economic leadership in the 21st century. (Eugene Register Guard)

(Illinois) Governor announces Lincoln’s Tomb going green – Geothermal heating and cooling system to be installed at Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site to reduce energy usage, increase visitor comfort (Illinois Governor’s Office)


Santa rewards those who conserve (News Review: Green Guide)


Global Warming Blamed for Bird Species Extinction (Half Life Online)


Yahoo prepares to open data center in Quincy (Seattle Times)

U.S. not up to speed on broadband – Lawmakers want to know where availability is low to help the nation keep up internationally. The federal government's latest annual report on the availability of high-speed Internet service throughout the country contains 19 pages of detailed data -- pie charts, bar graphs, maps and column upon column of numbers and percentages. Most of them are useless. (LA Times),1,2389351.story?coll=la-headlines-technology&ctrack=1&cset=true

'The Future of the Internet--and How to Stop It' – Restrictive tools and rash approaches to security challenges are endangering the health of the online ecosystem, an Oxford University researcher warned Wednesday. (CNET News)


Passing 1% property tax limit may not stop local districts – Proposed fix for loophole is sham, Eyman says (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

SHELTON’S FIRST STREET CLOSED FOR GAS CONTAMINATION CLEAN UP – First Street in downtown Shelton was closed this morning to allow crews to remove gas contaminated soil from the Franklin Street intersection. According the Shelton City Engineer Mike Michael, the closure is from Railroad Avenue to Cedar Street. Traffic is being detoured to Front Street. This closure will last for up to seven working days. Motorists should be aware of this closure and plan accordingly as traffic in downtown Shelton will likely be more congested while this work is being completed. Again, First Street is closed between Railroad and Cedar in downtown Shelton. Businesses in the area are open. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Fire shuts key Canada-U.S. pipeline (Reuters)

Port Orchard – Protesters Plan Rally Outside Soldier's Funeral. A group of protesters from Kansas are planning a rally outside a local soldier’s funeral in Port Orchard Friday afternoon. (KIRO-TV, Seattle – and yes…it’s THOSE protesters)

Sanctions lead to free-speech fight – Republican state Rep. Jim Dunn is claiming a right of free speech as he fights back against House leaders who stripped him of committee assignments and ordered him into counseling. (The Olympian)

Seattle radio host Larry Nelson dies (The Olympian)


Oregon woman loses long-time Christmas tree, but not the stump

America's Music: A Rural Dance Tradition in Twilight – In the isolated farmland counties of eastern Nebraska, polka helps tie people together.

Police say two's a crowd – When does a legitimate Russian political protest become an illegal gathering? Answer: When a second person joins in to spoil it.;_ylt=AjIdKyEXxrjLln1bMU1k56DtiBIF

Thief makes off with 180 Guinness kegs;_ylt=Amno13za2Y3dmNidMlbf8KntiBIF

You won't believe what befell this lady;_ylt=AmVuZJVG_yelyLs_wGVby7vtiBIF