Environment

Environment

Buildings account for the second biggest share of carbon pollution in Washington, after transportation, largely due to gas furnaces and water heaters such as these. CREDIT: Tom Banse/N3

Bye-Bye, Gas Heat? Proposals For Washington Seek To Phase Out Fossil Fuel Heating In Buildings

A long goodbye to natural gas furnaces and water heating — and possibly other gas appliances — could begin with action by the Washington Legislature this winter. Separately, the Seattle City Council this week begins consideration of a similar proposal to eliminate fossil fuel-based heating in new commercial buildings. Continue Reading Bye-Bye, Gas Heat? Proposals For Washington Seek To Phase Out Fossil Fuel Heating In Buildings

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Alexandra Sasha Grieb and Kyleigh Dabler, both 19, from Kennewick, waved at passing cars driving by Richland’s John Dam Plaza. Grieb said it will be up to younger generations to fight climate change now with their votes. “The earth will survive climate change. Humans won’t,” she said. CREDIT: Courtney Flatt/NWPB

In One Of His First Acts, President Biden Moves To Have U.S. Join Paris Climate Agreement

The U.S. officially withdrew from the accord to limit climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions late last year, after President Donald Trump began the process in 2017. It is the only country of the nearly 200 signatories that has withdrawn. Biden vowed to sign on Inauguration Day the documents needed to rejoin the agreement. Continue Reading In One Of His First Acts, President Biden Moves To Have U.S. Join Paris Climate Agreement

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An aerial view of clear-cuts near the south fork of Gordon Creek, one of two water sources for Corbett, Oregon. CREDIT: Google Earth

Timber Tax Cuts Cost Rural Northwest Towns Billions. Polluted Water Drove Up The Price

In rainy Oregon, communities tap a network of streams and creeks to supply millions of residents with cold, clean water. The problem is that the land surrounding drinking water streams is, in many cases, owned not by the towns or the residents who drink the water, but by private timber companies that are now logging more intensively than ever, cutting trees on a more rapid cycle and spraying herbicides to kill other plants that compete with replanted seedlings for sunlight. Continue Reading Timber Tax Cuts Cost Rural Northwest Towns Billions. Polluted Water Drove Up The Price

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A polar bear with cubs in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in 2014. Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

After Decades-Long Push, It’s Not Clear Who Will Bid In Arctic Refuge Oil Lease Sale

Just two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, the Trump administration is trying to lock-in oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with a hastily scheduled and controversial lease sale. But despite the high stakes, uncertainty looms over how much oil is actually trapped under the million acres of tundra up for leasing, and how much industry interest there is to go find it. Continue Reading After Decades-Long Push, It’s Not Clear Who Will Bid In Arctic Refuge Oil Lease Sale

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Oregon State University researcher Chris Dunn next to a Douglas fir, which burned in Oregon’s September 2020 fires and was later cut down by fire crews who considered it a safety hazard. CREDIT: Jes Burns/OPB

Despite What The Logging Industry Says, Cutting Down Trees Isn’t Stopping Catastrophic Wildfires

In the decades since government restrictions reduced logging on federal lands, the timber industry has promoted the idea that private lands are less prone to wildfires, saying that forests thick with trees fuel bigger, more destructive blazes. But an analysis by OPB and ProPublica shows last month’s fires burned as intensely on private forests with large-scale logging operations as they did, on average, on federal lands that cut fewer trees. Continue Reading Despite What The Logging Industry Says, Cutting Down Trees Isn’t Stopping Catastrophic Wildfires

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The Plutonium Finishing Plant at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington. The site includes 56 million gallons of radioactive waster across 580 square miles.

Aging Tanks, Aging Watchdogs: Lots To Work On For Washington’s New Waste Program Manager

David Bowen has owned his own bar in Cle Elum, been a Kittitas County commissioner and managed groundwater nitrate cleanup in the Yakima Valley. Now, he’ll hold the U.S. Department of Energy accountable for its cleanup at the site using the Tri-Party Agreement. That’s a 1989 document struck between Ecology, the federal Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Continue Reading Aging Tanks, Aging Watchdogs: Lots To Work On For Washington’s New Waste Program Manager

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