Inslee's Orca Plan
by Nat Webb
The Corps has studied and rejected breaching the dams.
It appears that some of our elected political representatives are lacking in common sense.
Gov. Jay Inslee in a recent press conference announced a two-year, $54.3 billion budget proposal that includes spending $1.1 billion for an orca-rescue plan. The rescue plan includes $750,000 devoted to looking at removing the Lower Snake River dams. This would include a task force to study whether wind and solar power could replace hydropower and whether trucks and trains could replace river traffic.
(bluefish answers these questions and the rest of the Orca Task Force questions at bluefish.org/answers/)This proposed budget is 21 percent more than the operating budget lawmakers enacted in 2017. Gov. Inslee also proposed nearly $4 billion in new and higher taxes. The new taxes include a capital-gains tax projected to raise $975 million the first year. The 9 percent tax would apply to the sale of stocks, bonds, and similar assets. Sales of homes, timber and farms would be exempt from the tax.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said that some 40 percent of the nation's wheat moves through the Lower Snake River system of dams and locks. The Corps has studied and rejected breaching the dams.
A federal judge in 2016 ordered another review that may be finished by 2020. The population of South Resident orcas (three pods of killer whales in Puget Sound and off Washington's coast) has declined to 74 from a peak of 98 in 1995. Experts attribute the drop to a lack of fish, pollution and noisy vessels.
Stephanie Solien, an Orca task force co-chairwoman indicated we share so much with the orcas. When we save the orcas from toxins, we save ourselves; when we save them from climate change, we save ourselves; when we save them from pollution, we save ourselves. She didn't mention the pollution and the danger that thousands of additional semi-trucks needed to replace the barges would create.
It appears that each political party has its share of uninformed members. Our job as voters is to elect politicians with some common sense and devotion to preserving our country. Many currently representing us are in desperate need of replacement.
Killing Sea Lions Not the Answer by Peter A Conder, Seattle Times, 12/23/18
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