Oyster deaths from ocean acidification become key issue in Washington state fall elections

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Billions of baby oysters in the Pacific inlets here are dying and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington is busy spreading the bad news.

Or to Mr. Inslee’s ambitions. The Democratic governor, aided by what is expected to be millions of dollars from his billionaire friend Tom Steyer, is using the story of Washington’s oysters — scientists say a rise in carbon levels has spiked the acidity of the Pacific and is killing off shellfish — to make the case for passing the most far-reaching climate change policies in the nation.

Mr. Inslee, who is campaigning for his agenda across the state this summer with oyster farmers in tow, is trying to position himself as America’s leading governor in the climate change fight. But Mr. Inslee does not have the support of the majority of the Washington State Senate (…)

Coral Davenport, Seafoodnews.com [The New York Times], 4 August 2014. Article (restricted access).


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