Energy & Natural Resources

Not preventing invasive species would be costly

Last week the Washington Invasive Species Council released an economic impact study of invasive species in Washington. The study provides “a snapshot of total economic impact within a single year if no prevention or management activities occurred.”

The three worst offenders are apple maggots, rush skeletonweed, and scotch broom.

Challenges mount for fossil fuel projects

For several years, oil terminal projects have been in the works at the Port of Grays Harbor in Hoquiam—Westway and Imperium. The Imperium project was canceled by the company in 2016, and Westway is now called Contanda.

Policy Today podcast: Expanded state environmental regulations threaten union jobs

Today's topic is the expanded state environmental regulations that, due to their arbitrary and excessive nature, threaten to send good-paying jobs - many of them union jobs - out of Washington state.

Ag and timber in the news

I wanted to point out a couple of interesting stories I’ve read this week on the agriculture and timber industries.

First, Dick Davis writes in the Fall 2016 edition of Washington Business Magazine (see page 30) about new advances in agricultural technology. He discusses genetics, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, field architecture, and robots.

Temporary jobs shouldn’t be discounted

An item in the Stand today provides some good perspective on the permitting process for the Millennium Bulk Terminals project in Longview. Mike Bridges of IBEW Local 48 writes,

For Cowlitz County, this represents a significant private investment that would have an enormous economic impact on thousands of tradespeople and their families. . . .

It would also mean fewer people on the road, working closer to home.

Special Report: Expanded state environmental regulations have negative impacts for Washington

Today we're publishing a new Special Report, "The Expanded SEPA [State Environmental Policy Act] Has Reduced Regulatory Certainty in Washington." You can read the report here.

In 2013 and 2014, the state Department of Ecology expanded the scope of review for the purposes of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) beyond state borders, in a seemingly arbitrary manner.

New Policy Brief on I-732: Imposing a New Carbon Tax in Washington State

We've put together a Policy Brief - which you can read in full here - on I-732, the statewide initiative on the November ballot that would create a new carbon tax in Washington.

In brief:

Agricultural production in Washington valued at $10.7 billion

In 2015, agricultural production in Washington was valued at $10.7 billion (up from $10.2 billion in 2014). According to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), this is a record high. Also, "Record high values of production were established for four of the top ten Washington commodities, including apples, cattle and calves, eggs, and hops."

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