Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Viaduct Retrofit Delayed | Lindy West: Pointless, Shitty,... »

Monday, March 3, 2008

What’s Up with the Democrats in Olympia?

posted by on March 3 at 17:58 PM

Once again, it looks like the House Democrats in Olympia have botched an environmental bill.

Last week, after the Senate sent it over, they mangled a bill that would have given local governments authority under the Growth Management Act to use carbon emission impacts as a standard for saying yea or nay to developments. (The bill was almost saved late in the week, but a compromise deal kept it impotent.)

Today, they mangled another bill, sent over from the Senate after Senate Majority Leader Sen. Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane) resurrected it, that would have prevented Glacier Northwest from expanding its strip mining work on Maury Island. The bill, as amended, now allows the Republican commissioner of public lands, Doug Sutherland—a Glacier NW ally—to green-light the company’s environmentally suspect work.

RSS icon Comments


Yes, but wasn't that first GMA bill kinda, well, vague? I understand the intent of the bill was sound, but how would one execute it?

State Democrats pass good, solid environmental bills all the time (see 2006 session), despite BIAW & Co. opposition. What made this one different?

Posted by la | March 3, 2008 6:11 PM

The GMA bill was bad legislation. The criteria for evaluating development in terms of carbon impact was too vague to be useful. All the municipalities would have spent millions of unnecessary dollars and years of unnecessary time trying to figure out how to implement the mandate.

Posted by grumpypants | March 3, 2008 6:24 PM

Yeah, you're right grumpypants @2. I guess it is generally bad policy to ask that cities and counties think about climate impact when deciding how or where they're going to grow. It's almost like they're being asked to think about the consequences of their actions. Phew, it was close for a minute there.

Posted by slowlydying | March 3, 2008 7:02 PM

The amendment to the Maury Island bill, SB 6777, in the House Finance Committee, is further illustration, Josh, that you continue to be clueless about how the Legislature operates.

You keep beating this drum that just because we have X numbers of legislators with a D next to their names, that Y or Z should happen because these people are supposed to be "progressive," and "progressive" means what YOU say it means, and that if they don't vote as "progressively" as YOU think they should, then there's something wrong with THEM.

Well, they don't always vote the way *I* would like them to either. Ross Hunter (D-48, Medina), the chair of Finance, who I like and admire, is the one who fucked us on Maury Island. But at least I am under no illusion that Hunter is so fucking "progressive" all the time, or that he owes it to me to be so.

The Democratic "supermajority" is a lot more rural, a lot more suburban, a lot more pro-automobile and pro-road, and a lot more business-friendly than you give it credit for.

Their constituents are not Capitol Hill hipsters and don't want to be, and there's no reason that they should share your values and your priorities, any more than you should share theirs. It will take a lot of organizing in those Districts to move their legislators in a more positive direction, and mere snarky sniping from the Stranger is not a substitute for that work.

Please make up your mind whether you want to be a journalist or a self-promoting shill. Do us all a favor and quit projecting your own crap onto other people in other parts of the state. Tell it like it is for a change and not how YOU'D like it to be. Maybe then we'll see some honest reporting around here.

Posted by ivan | March 3, 2008 9:42 PM

Glacier NW = environmentally suspect work? Oh, I find that hard to believe. Oh wait, no I don't. Along with 5 million other people, they're a major Primary Responsible Party at Lower Duwamish Superfund Site, amongst other places.

Posted by This Guy | March 3, 2008 9:57 PM

Folks, I hate to break it, but if you haven't figured it out by now, the "Democratic" majority in Olympia exists only because of faux Democrats like Ross Hunter who are never there when you need them to be.

Posted by lorax | March 3, 2008 10:39 PM

Business - wow - what a concept- AND - business that pays its employees well with benefits

Not like the Nader organization or so no union scab labor voices like the Stranger

You all are as progressive as 1920.

How do you make concrete without gravel? And how much gravel can you haul in by the millions of truck loads before it ruins the environment MORE and costs a fortune more?

There must be some sort of negotiation to allow essential building elements to be created near site - and do it with better enviro standards. Must be. Has to be.

I bet many of the folk who oppose the Maury Island GRAVEL pit thing do not have a clue why gravel is so important or what it will mean to import it all from hundreds of miles, added cost and much more enviro damage.

Do gravel trucks not pollute more when driven farther? Yes, of course, millions of tons more fuel and smoke. Duh.

Need to work together for modern solutions to age old problems.

Posted by Kenneth | March 3, 2008 11:18 PM

Kenneth @ 7:

Nice try, shill. Your "modern solution" would leave a dead zone in central Puget Sound for the next 100 years (Glacier proposes to mine for 40 of those years -- and, oh, some "spillage" is unavoidable, tsk, tsk).

They can move the gravel by rail. The tugs that would tow the barges spew dirty diesel into the atmosphere.

The governor's "Puget Sound Partnership" would be rendered worthless and Dino Rossi, Tim Eyman, Rob McKenna, and their polluting puppetmasters -- which include Glacier -- would blame her and the Democrats whatever they did, because that is all they have.

Glacier *has* no better environmental standards, and I don't see anything "modern" about your naive faith-based belief that there can be any compromise with these environmental criminals.

Posted by ivan | March 4, 2008 6:25 AM
The bill, as amended, now allows the Republican commissioner of public lands, Doug Sutherland—a Glacier NW ally—to green-light the company’s environmentally suspect work.

Of course, if we bounce the polluters' friend, Doug Sutherland, out on his sorry ass in November and elect Peter Goldmark Lands Commissioner, the same amendment that allows Sutherland to "green-light" Glacier will allow Goldmark to stop these fuckers dead in their tracks.

Posted by ivan | March 4, 2008 10:01 AM

Ivan, thanks for the fact based discussion.

I am no shill, used to build a few houses and have some grasp of construction..... which in the new Seattle requires vast amounts of concrete.

Of course, I suspect some very wealthy folks live near this island, or their veiw of the waves will be in peril, or ........

Since the enviro movement has become obstructionist on EVERYTHING, a lot of us are now wondering what the truth is.

The world as park for the Sierra Club isn't getting a lot of grab any more.

I do not support Rossi. But Gregoire need to take control of the decision making for major state projects. She is almost comical in the bridge fiasco games around the state.

I often wonder if she has a drinking problem.

Posted by Kenneth | March 4, 2008 10:45 AM

Shill @ 10:

The TRUTH is that this project would "spill" enough sand and gravel (oops!) into the Sound after FORTY years of loading a football-field-sized barge twice a day as to render a large portion of the Central Sound a "dead zone" for what, 100 years?

The TRUTH is that this project would mine gravel to within 15 feet of a sole-source aquifer, endangering the supply of drinking water for thousands of residents.

The TRUTH is that this project risks releasing into the water and the atmosphere arsenic and lead from the late and unlamented ASARCO smelter in Ruston that deposited these treasures on Vashon and Maury Islands.

The TRUTH is that this whole fucking state sits on sand and gravel, but Glacier wants to barge Maury Island right to Japan, so that it can make even more of a killing, even though it has bought out or driven out most of its competition in this state and ALREADY MONOPOLIZES THE INDUSTRY HERE.

So don't give me this shit about the Sierra Club or NIMBYs, or wealthy folks. You're shilling for a criminal operation that already has it all, and wants even more, and wants to fuck my community to get it.

Posted by ivan | March 4, 2008 11:25 AM

@10: You should probably read up on the Maury Island project before debating Ivan. Glacier proposes to strip mine an area roughly five times the size of the existing abandoned quarry--an area located right on the Maury Island shoreline. Why exactly would the state spend $7 billion to clean up Puget Sound while granting permits to an environment-trashing shoreline project? We get that you love sand and gravel. Just get your sand and gravel from somewhere else.

Posted by J.R. | March 4, 2008 3:53 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).