Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Tag Archives: Energy & Power

Video Clip

Michael Moore presents Planet of the Humans, a documentary that dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement’s answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids.

It’s too little, too late.

The film features footage of Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Richard Branson, Robert F Kennedy Jr., Michael Bloomberg, Van Jones, Vinod Khosla, the Koch Brothers, Vandana Shiva, General Motors,, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Nature Conservancy, Elon Musk, Tesla.

Recommended Link

Trump’s executive order to open Arctic waters to oil drilling was unlawful, federal judge rules

A victory for clean water and climate justice, via The New York Times: “In a major legal blow to [Donald] Trump’s push to expand offshore oil and gas development, a federal judge ruled that an executive order by Mr. Trump that lifted an Obama-era ban on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean and parts of the North Atlantic coast was unlawful.”


I overcame my doubts. I support 1631. I will contribute to the Yes on 1631 campaign, I will vote yes when I fill out my ballot, and I am encouraging others to do the same.

— Bill Gates: Why I’m for Washington state’s pollution fee

Recommended Link

Thousands of marchers in British Columbia say no to Trans Mountain pipeline

“If the opposition movement in British Columbia and Washington state has a totem animal, it is the critically-endangered southern resident killer whale that travels the waters even more tankers will use if the pipeline is built,” writes Lynda Mapes.


The whole mess is like a metaphor for how the entire federal government is run today. There is talk about big needs, even as they cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy, making it harder to address those needs. We the people are distracted by our borrowed bonuses. The crippling disconnect from reality isn’t even acknowledged.

— Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat (Sorry, Hanford: Your radiation leaks aren’t as important as tax cuts)

Satellite image of former Refuge drilling site

From the New York Times: “These satellite images of a small part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge show the site of what, so far, is the only oil well ever drilled in the refuge, an exploratory well known as KIC-1 that was completed in the mid-1980s. The well was plugged and abandoned, and the drilling equipment and a special timber pad it sat on have long since been removed. “


Even Cathy McMorris Rodgers thinks privatizing the Bonneville Power Administration is a bad idea

The regime of Donald Trump may be enthusiastic about privatizing the Bonneville Power Administration, but Republicans in the Pacific Northwest are not.

Not even archconservatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Greg Walden, both of whom serve in top positions in the House Republican caucus.

Walden and McMorris Rodgers have signed onto a letter sent to the regime by all of the members of the House from Washington and Oregon — Democrats and Republicans — letting Trump’s people know in no uncertain terms that the region strongly opposes the proposal to privatize BPA.

Read More »

Weather Channel trolls Trump

Chris Matyszczyk: “After Donald Trump’s staged announcement that the US would be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, the people who sometimes give you the right weather reacted with a coruscating collage of disbelief. was headlined by an image of Trump and the words: ‘Trump Pulls US Out Of Paris Climate Agreement; What That Means.’ Beneath, however, was a series of links that piddled squalls of derision on the president. Sample: ‘Fact Check: Trump’s Shaky Claims On Climate Accord.’ Then there was: ”Sad Day: Global Reaction To Trump’s Decision.’ This all seemed borderline polite. Until there was: ‘Don’t Care? Proof You Should…’, as well as ‘…and More Proof,’ ‘and ‘Even More Proof’.”

Recommended Link

ExxonMobil shareholders pass resolution demanding accounting of climate damage policy risks

In a groundbreaking rebuke of the company’s management, a supermajority of ExxonMobil shareholders approved a nonbinding resolution that calls for an open, transparent accounting of the risks posed to its business by policies aimed at reversing climate damage. BlackRock and Vanguard, two of the largest ExxonMobil investors, backed the resolution, bucking Exxon’s board, who wanted a no vote.

Video Clip

Al Gore is back! Watch the new trailer for An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, the sequel to An Inconvenient Truth. In theaters July 28, 2017.


We advocate that you reject misguided advice that the Clean Power Plan be discarded; advice that, if followed, would assuredly lead to more litigation. Instead, we urge you to support the defense of this critically-important rule and the implementation of its carefully constructed strategies to reduce emissions from the nation’s largest sources.

— Excerpt from a letter to Donald Trump from attorneys general representing New York, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, the District of Columbia, Boulder (CO), New York City, Broward County (FL), and South Miami (FL).


5.0 magnitude quake rumbles Oklahoma oil town of Cushing, nearby region

A strong earthquake has caused serious damage in the central Oklahoma oil town of Cushing, which is home to the United States’ largest commercial oil storage hub.

The Oklahoman has an extensive report on the quake which fails to mention that there is research linking quakes in the state to fracking.

The BBC, however, circled back to its earlier reporting on the subject when it carried the news of the Cushing tremblor:

There have been 19 earthquakes in Oklahoma in the past week, according to data provided by the US Geological Survey.

In September, a magnitude 5.6 quake in the state fuelled concerns that seismic activity in the area was connected to energy production.

In 2013, scientists linked the underground injection of oil drilling wastewater to a magnitude-5.7 earthquake that struck Oklahoma in 2011.

An immediate moratorium on fracking ought to be imposed in Oklahoma — and everywhere else — for safety and environmental reasons.

Sadly, in many areas, the right wing controls the government and has no interest in putting people or the planet ahead of oil industry profits.

Recommended Link

Shell cancels major oil train project near Anacortes

“On the heels of the release of a draft environmental impact statement earlier this week, the Shell Puget Sound Refinery announced Thursday it is no longer pursuing the rail unloading facility addressed in the document,” the Skagit Valley Herald reports.

Recommended Link

Washington tribes stand with Standing Rock Sioux against North Dakota oil pipeline

“Tribes from across Washington and the Northwest have journeyed to remote Cannon Ball, N.D., to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in a peaceful occupation of ancestral lands where the tribe seeks an injunction to stop construction of an oil pipeline until its waters and cultural resources are protected,” Lynda Mapes reports.


We can’t do any work right now… The phones work, but the computers don’t. And attorneys are pretty much helpless without their computers.

— Barbara Serrano, a prosecutor with the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, describing the impact that a major, hour-long outage in downtown Seattle had on her workplace. City Light has since restored power by fixing broken equipment.


We don’t have the technology to fix the problem… We don’t have the process to develop the technology to fix the problem, and we don’t have the money to support the process to develop the technology to fix the problem.

— Tetiana Verbytska, an energy policy expert at the National Ecological Center of Ukraine, speaking to McClatchy’s Matthew Schofield (Ruined Chernobyl nuclear plant will remain a threat for 3,000 years).

Recommended Link

Wind and solar are crushing fossil fuels

Bloomberg’s Tom Randall documents and discusses the recent clean energy investment boom, which is outpacing oil and gas two to one.

Recommended Link

Shell says it’s ending Alaska offshore oil exploration

In a huge victory for the environment, Royal Dutch Shell PLC says it has decided to cease searching for oil in the frigid Arctic “for the foreseeable future” after it didn’t get promising results from an exploratory offshore well.

Recommended Link

Politico takes an in-depth look at the success of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign

Republicans like Mitch McConnell of Kentucky have repeatedly and continually blamed President Obama for the decline of Big Coal, one of America’s dirtiest energy industries. But, as Politico’s Michael Grunwald explains, the industry’s woes have a lot more to do with grassroots opposition organized by the Sierra Club than new policies championed by the Obama administration.

Video Clip
Oil spill along California coast

Rachel Maddow reports breaking news of an oil pipeline rupture at Refugio Beach near Santa Barbara, California that has created an oil slick along 4 miles of coast and threatens popular El Capitan State Beach. (Duration: 1:21)

Recommended Link

Seattle port commissioners vote to ‘delay’ Shell: Ships still inbound

The Seattle P-I’s Joel Connelly reports on the fallout from today’s Port Commission meeting, at which commissioners directed staff to ask Foss Maritime to put on hold plans to moor Shell’s Arctic drilling rig.