The Daily Troll: Inslee makes Hanford demand. GMO initiative certified. More Gregoire watching.

The new governor wants the feds to install more tanks at the Hanford nuclear reservation. Labeling of GMOs moves toward decision. And a new opportunity for Obama to bring a Washingtonian into his Cabinet.
Gov. Jay Inslee

Gov. Jay Inslee Photo: John Stang

Inslee wants more at Hanford

Gov. Jay Inslee wants the federal government to provide more storage tanks for the clean up of nuclear-contaminated waste at Hanford. Inslee's demand follows similar requests from fellow stakeholders' (Hanford Advisory Board and Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber), according to The Tri-City Herald's Annette Cary. Where does a state get off telling the U.S. Department of Energy what to do? Inslee's staff points to a court-overseen consent decree and insists that extra tanks are essential for keeping the clean-up on schedule. Or somewhat on schedule. Go get 'em, Gov.

GMO iniitiative certified

The Washington Secretary of State's Office has certified that an initiative requiring the labeling of products with genetically modified organisms has enough signatures. The measure, Initiative 522, will likely go to voters, but it's also possible the Legislature will act on it. In fact, Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, and Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, have joined a bipartisan bill to require GMO labeling.

The Secretary of State's blog explains the Legislature's options this way:

Now that I-522 has been certified by the Secretary of State, it has been forwarded to the Legislature. Legislators have three options on an initiative sent their way: pass it into law as is; take no action, resulting in it going to the November ballot for a public vote; or send it and a legislative alternative to the ballot and let voters decide which, if either, they support. The typical initiative to the Legislature takes the second path, going on the General Election ballot.  

Initiative 517, a Tim Eyman initiative to protect initiatives (seriously), received certification Jan. 23 and is likely on a similar path.

Energy Secretary ... Gregoire?

President Obama's energy secretary, Steven Chu, is going to resign. It's not unexpected, but we'll sure miss that guy. Chu has earned generally good marks and his position —  and positions — have had a huge impact in the Northwest. Think Hanford, wind farms and a host of other energy issues.

Grist, Seattle's national environmental news site, said Chu will be hard to replace. Philip Bump writes:

This is a Nobel Prize winner who lamented that he couldn’t ride his bike to work once he ascended to the Cabinet. The resignation also means that all three major agencies that deal with energy and environmental issues — Energy, the EPA, Interior — will need a new head.

Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com was among those quick to raise the possibility of yet another potential cabinet post for outgoing Governor Chris Gregoire. Yup, Gregoire would make a good secretary of energy (or environment or interior). In fact, on Thursday the Puget Sound Business Journal suggested that Gregoire and REI CEO Sally Jewell could be rivals for that Interior secretary post.

Lee Hood honored

President Obama mentioned the Chu resignation as he prepared to award the National Medals for Science and Innovation to some 20 recipients, including Dr. Leroy Hood, the head of Seattle-based Institute for Systems Biology.

Hood is president and co-founder of the Institute for Systems Biology. He came to Seattle in 1992 to found the University of Washington's Department of Molecular Biotechnology. Hood is an award magnet having won the Lasker Prize for studies on immune diversity, the Kyoto Prize for technological advancements and the Lemelson-MIT award for developing the DNA sequencer. More details about the award on the Institute for Systems Biology web site.

We streamed the awards ceremony live earlier today. See the replay.

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Joe Copeland is political editor for Crosscut. You can reach him at Joe.Copeland@crosscut.com.


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Comments:

Posted Mon, Feb 4, 8:55 p.m. Inappropriate

The National Medal of Science and Innovation ceremony was very inspiring. Thanks for sharing and streaming!

Kamille

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