Washington's Energy, Clean-Water Farmers, and the Return of the Big Cats

Some Nooze for the first day of August: First, from John Ryan with KUOW, Puget Sound Public Radio, a look at the link between Montana's coal and Washington's energy.

Montana Coal Fuels Puget Sound Energy

If you live inside the Seattle city limits, your electricity comes from Seattle City Light. That means the juice coming out of your walls probably originated from a dam in eastern Washington or in the North Cascades. Wherever it came from, your power used very little fossil fuel and contributed little or nothing to climate change.

If you live elsewhere in the Puget Sound region, your power probably comes from privately owned Puget Sound Energy, based in Bellevue.

The power coming out of your walls most likely started at PSE's coal–burning power plant in eastern Montana. A little more than one third of PSE's electricity comes from the plant it co–owns in Colstrip, Montana. That makes Colstrip coal the number–one source of electricity for Puget Sound Energy customers... Read more.


Cassandra Profita with Oregon Public Broadcasting's Ecotrope blog has been writing about the Clean Water Act. In this installment, she catches up with some Oregon agriculturalists who are going above and beyond:

Oregon Farmers Go Beyond the Clean Water Act

I’m working with EarthFix on an ongoing series about the Clean Water Act. If you haven’t yet, you should check out this primer on how the law works, this story about the lingering question of how clean water should be for fishermen and swimmers, and this story about how Seattle’s Duwamish River illustrates the failure of the Clean Water Act to crack down on polluters.

One criticism of the Clean Water Act is that it hasn’t kept up with all the new and emerging pollutants that are being detected in waterways. Lawmakers in 1972 couldn’t anticipate every possible chemical that could be a water pollution problem 40 years in the future.

So, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates a list of 129 priority pollutants under the Clean Water Act. But a lot of chemicals that are showing up in our water now – flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, plasticizers, new pesticides – aren’t on that list... Read more.


And Chris Engle with the Petoskey News chats with an enthusiastic advocate about the return of some very large kitties to Michigan:

'Only a matter of time' before cougars confirmed here

The Upper Peninsula’s 15th, 16th and 17th cougar sightings confirmed by the Department of Natural Resources in the past three months have some people believing it’s just a matter of time before the Lower Peninsula has a verified sighting of its own.

That ultimate animal sighting could come from just about any of the Lower Peninsula’s 68 counties, according to cougar enthusiast Charles Psenka.

He said sightings from almost every county have been reported to his Web site, www.SaveTheCougar.org, with an “overwhelming majority” of them coming from below the Mackinac Bridge. Seven sightings have been reported to the site from Otsego County... Read more.