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Articles written by Don C. Brunell

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 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    August 15, 2019 

Battery Operated Locomotives Coming

More battery operated cars and trucks are making their way on to streets and highways, so why not trains? That may not be too far off if BNSF tests are successful. BNSF and Wabtec (formerly GE Transportation) are developing a battery-electric...

 

Careful Not to Follow Sweden's Haste

Sweden and Washington State are very similar. Both have strong “green” movements and are quickly moving to eliminate all carbon-emitting fuels from cars and power plants. The caution for Washington elected officials is not to jam through hastily...

 

Alternative to Flaring Natural Gas

In oil rich West Texas, shale producers and pipeline owner Williams Co. are fighting over whether new “burning off of natural gas” permits should be approved. It is a battle between companies which are usually aligned. Flaring happens primarily...

 

America's Renewed Interest in Moon

With all of the attention on the 50th anniversary of the Lunar landing, many are looking ahead to the next half century of space exploration. Of particular interest is returning to the Moon which may come as early as 2024. For example, Boeing is...

 

Worth of the Moon Mission

Shortly, after Apollo 11 landed on the moon and astronaut Neil Armstrong took his famous first steps on the dusty lunar surface, some comedian in our army unit at Ft. Knox, KY, posted a sign in our barracks: “Sorry, Drill Sgt., No Green Cheese!...

 

China's Mighty Migrating Mandate

What happens in China, doesn’t always stay in China. In fact, when it comes to tough new garbage and recycling restrictions, they may migrate elsewhere sooner than you might think. For example, Shanghai is one of the world’s largest cities with...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    July 4, 2019

Restoring Affordability to a College Education is Vital to America

When my parents graduated from high school in 1936, a college education was too expensive for the son of a copper miner and the daughter of a plumber. Eighty years ago, our country was in the middle of the Great Depression and teens took odd jobs to...

 

Normandy Clicker D-Day Innovation

During World War II, the American GI earned the reputation for being innovative, adaptable and resilient. Nowhere was that more evident than the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. For example, Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, commander of the 101st Airborne...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    June 6, 2019

Max Fix Critical to Washington

Last January, Boeing was poised for another record year. The company’s order book burst at the seams. Things seem to be going Boeing’s way. In 2019, Boeing planned to step up deliveries of KC46 aerial refueling jets to the U.S. Air Force and the...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 30, 2019

Could Seattle Put on a World's Fair Today?

On April 21, 1962, the Seattle World’s Fair opened. The “Century 21 Exhibition” ran for six months, drew 11 million visitors, turned a profit and left the Northwest with a wonderful Seattle Center. Well over a half century later, many of the...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 23, 2019

Removing Snake River dams is unwise

There are dams that should come down and those that shouldn’t. Hopefully, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts its review of the 14 federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, that will become abundantly clear. That review is expected...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 16, 2019

Washington's Big Tax Bump

With the dust settling from the 2019 legislative session, the focus is assessing the impacts on taxpayers and our economy. Our state’s budget grew by a whopping 17.5 percent, which is one of the largest increases ever. Gov. Jay Inslee and his...

 
 By Don C. Brunell    Opinion    May 9, 2019

New Montana Law Aims to Keep People In Their Homes

Montana’s legislature took the unusual step of exempting older, less-valued mobile homes from property tax as a way to stem homelessness. The bipartisan legislation, which Gov. Steve Bullock signed into law last week, aims to keep people in their...

 

Montana Woman Recognized Among Fortune's Greatest Leaders

Imagine sitting home and learning Fortune Magazine just listed you among the world’s greatest leaders? That’s exactly what happened to Marilyn Bartlett who led the effort to save Montana’s state employee health insurance plan from bankruptcy....

 

Retrieving Ocean Trash Is Only First Step

People across our planet are increasingly aware of the growing amounts of trash floating in our oceans. While we are finding new ways to collect it, the more vexing problem is what to do with it. The garbage is accumulating in “gyres” which are l...

 

Lawmakers Need to Re-examine Budget Before Adjourning

Before lawmakers wrap-up their work in Olympia, they should re-examine their hefty new state spending plan. The budget may not be sustainable even with a substantial increase in taxes. It may force legislators to return to the State Capitol to cut...

 

Inconvenient Truth About Batteries

Each year Americans throw away more than three billion batteries constituting 180,000 tons of hazardous material and the situation is likely to get much worse as the world shifts to electric vehicles. Everyday-green.com reports more than 86,000 tons...

 

Darker Side of Renewables

Before our country, in haste, dives totally into renewable energy, we must carefully evaluate its impacts. By just focusing on eliminating natural gas, liquid fuels (gasoline and diesel) and coal to combat climate change, we ignore the effects of...

 

Oil companies betting on electric technology

Across the pond, London-based BP and Netherlands-headquartered Shell are looking to invest in innovative electric technology which is very good news. The two international oil giants, both of which have oil refineries in northwest Washington,...

 

Trade Issues Coalesce Washington's Delegation

Historically, international trade issues have galvanized our state’s congressional delegation. Many wondered if that would still be the case today. Fortunately, it seems to be. While Democrats and Republicans are at one another’s throats on most...

 

Wildfires Spark Renewed Debate over Underground Power Lines

November’s Camp Wildfire was California’s deadliest, killing 86 people and destroying 14,000 homes along with more than 500 businesses. The financial fallout is forcing PG&E, northern California’s electric utility, to seek Chapter 11...

 

Growing Resistance to Corporate Incentives

The circumstances leading to Amazon’s decision to scrap its New York City project are trends corporate leaders need to examine closely. There are cultural and political shifts in America which are changing the way business is done. Amazon walked...

 

America Headed Down Wrong Track

America’s drift away from our market-based economic system is perplexing. Equally, mystifying is the new push to replace entrepreneurs with government bureaucrats in planning and controlling services and products offered to us--the consumers....

 

Student Debt Draining Retired Income

A lot is written about students exiting college saddled with hefty student loans; however, the impact on retired parents went largely unnoticed. Recently, Wall Street Journal writer AnnaMaria Andriotis reported Americans over 60 years old are coming...

 

The Private Sector is Stepping Up for Tourism

Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. That’s particularly true in difficult times when “business as usual” no longer works. As our national deficit approaches $22 trillion ($180,000 per taxpayer) and state and local governments...

 

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