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The Top Environmental Stories of 2011

Pete Springer/OPB

 A lot of the biggest Northwest environmental stories surrounded energy issues. 

Coal plants in Centralia, WA, and Boardman, OR both faced pressure to close their doors sooner than planned. Those closures come at the same time that Longview, WA and Bellingham, WA proposed coal export terminals to ship the resource to China.

Idaho joined in on the national push toward “fracking” for natural gas. And the federal decision to postpone the Keystone XL oil pipeline has raised the question of whether we’ll see more oil tankers in NW waters as companies look for other routes to carry oil to China.

The national Solyndra controversy raised questions about the certainty of investments in the local renewable energy industry. The wind and hydroelectric industries tried to work out the kinks of how to deal with the times when too much energy gets generated by both sources.

And the Japanese tsunami that led to the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis and cleanup has raised quesitons everywhere about the safety of nuclear energy.

We’ll look back on those topics, along with wolves, China, and dams, in our review of the top environmental stories of the year.

What environmental stories did you follow this year? What effect will they have on 2012?


  • David Steves: Editor of EarthFix
  • Cassandra Profita: Blogger at OPB’s Ecotrope blog
2011 environment

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