Open post


Assemble outside the TransCanada offices in Umpqua Plaza–
East side of the block on the Naito Parkway sidewalk, between SW Columbia & SW Jefferson, downtown Portland–
January 22, 11:00AM-12:30PM–
We will demonstrate solidarity with the residents, tribal members, workers, landowners, farmers, ranchers, and Tar Sands Blockaders who have boldly resisted the construction of the southern leg of KXL, also known as the Gulf Coast Pipeline.
Join us in standing in support.
For reference: EVENT INFO: 503-705-1943


Open post


Assemble outside the TransCanada offices in Umpqua Plaza–
East side of the block on the Naito Parkway sidewalk, between SW Columbia & SW Jefferson, downtown Portland–
January 22, 11:00AM-12:30PM–
We will demonstrate solidarity with the residents, tribal members, workers, landowners, farmers, ranchers, and Tar Sands Blockaders who have boldly resisted the construction of the southern leg of KXL, also known as the Gulf Coast Pipeline.
Join us in standing in support.
For reference: EVENT INFO: 503-705-1943
Open post

WikiLeaks Exposes Obama’s Weakening of Environmental Policies in TPP | January 15, 2014 — The U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim countries aren’t on the same page regarding environmental policies within the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact, and the dissension has been exposed by WikiLeaks.

Organizations who have viewed the leaked version of the TPP’s environment chapter say it shows that the U.S. could ease up on pollution control requirements, a shark fin harvesting ban and other regulations it had previously been negotiating for. Ilana Solomon, director of the Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade Program, told The New York Times that the environment chapter no longer contains language she believes would have ensured that more trade doesn’t equate to destruction of the environment.

More here

Open post

Third Megaload Permitted! Join the Rapid Response Network!

We need you to help resist the third and final (for now) Megaload!

The third tar sands megaload, which has been sitting unmoving in the Port of Umatilla, was issued a permit on Thursday, February 6th to move in the coming days. Together we’ve put up a strong fight so far and need to show Big Oil that every megaload they attempt to move will be met with resistance. We need a big turn out at this action!


If you’ve been waiting for your chance to get involved with Rising Tide, here it is! Or if you’ve been working with us for a bit and want to learn more about how we work and why, join us. We’ll go over the Rising Tide structure, history, talk about our current campaigns, each of our working groups, & how to get involved in the organizing.

Finally, we want to send a big thanks out to everyone who’s been organizing, attending events, donating money or even just spreading the word about fighting fossil fuels in Oregon. It’s been a busy month and we’ve gotten some amazing things accomplished together. We’ve never been more confident that we’re making progress and we’ve never been more excited to keep fighting!

All the best,
Portland Rising Tide

Plug-In Meeting for the 3rd Megaload, January 15!

Hey Folks,

We’re trying to very rapidly assemble a team to confront the 3rd meglaoad as it moves out of Umatilla or beyond.  As you can imagine, this is tricky because we don’t know exactly when that will be — but quite possibly the week of January 13.  To get coordination rolling, we’re holding a:

Plug-in Meeting

Wednesday, January 15, 6:30-8:30

Laughing Horse Books

12 NE 10th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97232

Please attend if you are interested in working with Rising Tide to stop the 3rd Megaload!

More about the Megaloads Campaign here. More about the Tar Sands here.

The Columbian: Just Say No to Oil Terminal

Having provided months of thorough coverage of the Tesaro/Savage proposal, the Columbian came out flat against the terminal in an editorial published on January 12 —

Tesoro-Savage proposal bad for safety, economic development, quality of life

—  In the end, it’s no contest: The drawbacks to building an oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver greatly outweigh the benefits of such a plan, and state officials eventually should reject the proposal.

At the heart of the issues are the future of Vancouver’s waterfront, the local economy, the quality of life for residents, safety concerns, and the image the city wishes to portray to the rest of the world. On each count, the proposal approved by port commissioners comes up short:

• The deal reached with Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies is butting heads with a $1.3 billion redevelopment of the former Boise Cascade site along the Columbia River, less than two miles upriver from the proposed oil terminal. Given the proximity of the projects and the fact that oil-bearing trains would pass within 100 feet of much of the development, these proposals are, indeed, mutually exclusive. It is unrealistic to think the waterfront development would not be hampered by the oil terminal, and a mixed-use project would have far greater growth potential for the city.

• The proposed $110 million oil terminal would bring an estimated 120 full-time jobs to the port, handling as much as 380,000 barrels of crude per day. It would be worth at least $45 million to the port for the first 10 years of the agreement. But broad-based economic development such as that provided by the waterfront development would have more far-reaching economic benefits.

• Trains carrying up to 380,000 barrels of crude per day through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Washougal, Camas, and then Vancouver, would do little to enhance the region’s quality of life. Port Commissioner Brian Wolfe said at a recent public meeting that BNSF Railway currently is operating at full capacity and that it’s the railroad company’s responsibility to address that, not the port’s. That is not an adequate answer. Considering a spate of oil-train explosions in North America over the past six months, port officials must do more to reassure the public regarding safety concerns.

• That brings us to an inconvenient truth: Nothing could adequately reassure the public regarding safety concerns. The fact is, regardless of how many safeguards are in place, transporting oil is fraught with peril, and transporting it through heavily populated areas is an invitation to disaster.

• Cities throughout the country in recent decades have repurposed their waterways and riverfronts. What once were conduits for heavy industry now are locations for tourism, service industries, and white-collar jobs, and that speaks to what kind of image Vancouver wishes to cultivate. Look at it this way: Will residents more effectively promote their city by telling outsiders, “Hey, we have a new oil terminal and lots more trains going through the heart of the city,” or by saying, “We have an amazing new waterfront development along the majestic Columbia River”? Or look at it this way: If Vancouver were being built from scratch, the last thing officials would do is put railroad access along the waterfront. It would be a travesty to exacerbate that unfortunate situation by becoming more reliant upon already crowded rail lines.

More than 31,000 public comments regarding the oil terminal were received by the Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, which will determine which factors to consider and then launch a lengthy evaluation process. Eventually, Gov. Jay Inslee will have the final say on whether the proposal is approved. Because of the proposal’s vast, long-lasting impact upon Vancouver, every possible environmental and economic factor should be considered. If that happens, the final decision will be no contest.

Open post

Another Oil Train Blows Up, Because That’s What They Do

Major fire in New Brunswick after derailment–

Sightline–Eric de Place, January 8, 2014 —


This one in New Brunswick:

A Canadian National Railway Co. (CNR) train carrying crude oil and propane derailed in the eastern province of New Brunswick and sparked a blaze that was still burning more than 12 hours after the accident.

A helicopter is being brought in today to pinpoint what is ablaze in the wreckage of the 122-car train that jumped the tracks… There are 14 cars and a locomotive in the fire zone, Feeny said.

About 50 to 60 people were evacuated in a two-kilometer (1.2 mile) radius of the accident…

When oil trains explode or catch fire, they are incredibly dangerous. In New Brunswick, for example, it took emergency responders about half a day just to get aerial surveillance of the wreckage and figure out how to safely get ground crews near the accident. Normally, there is little fire fighters can do to extinguish the blaze; the response is generally to try to evacuate the vicinity and let blaze burn itself out.

No one was injured or killed in this latest incident, thank goodness, but the mishap is more evidence that loaded oil tanker cars are ticking time bombs. Trains carrying Bakken crude are now rolling through small towns and major cities every day. And when they explode in a place where people live—as happened in Quebec—the result is awful: dozens of people incinerated and whole city blocks leveled.

The consequences of another oil train explosion in an urban area is chilling to contemplate. It could happen in Belltown or Burlington, Spokane or Sprague. The oil trains are in our neighborhoods already.

More news coverage here.

This post is 14 in the Sightline series: The Northwest’s Pipeline on Rails

Photo by Christopher Sessums, cc.

Open post

Portland Rally Against the Third Megaload!

8:30 am, Thursday January 9th
O’Bryant Square – SW Park & Washington

—  As the third megaload prepares to leave the Port of Umatilla for the Tar Sands of Alberta, Canada, we are keeping pressure on local corporations and decision-makers with a clear and resounding message: Stop The Megaloads!

Join us  to rally again and show the fossil fuel industry that we will not be silenced, intimidated or stopped.

This will be the ninth regional action against the Oregon megaloads in the past month. Disruptions have taken place at Omega Morgan’s offices in Fife, WA and Hillsboro, OR, at the General Electric subsidiary where tar  sands equipment is manufactured, at ODOT’s offices in Portland, and, of  course, in the path of the megalaods in eastern Oregon.

We will be leaving O’Bryant Square and walking to the site of the rally at  8:45 am. Be prompt! Wear a rain jacket! Invite your friends! Share on Facebook!

Portland Rising Tide

PS – We’ll be having a Portland Rising Tide Orientation on Wednesday 1/22 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM at Laughing Horse Books (12 NE 10th). More details to come next week, but save the date so that you can get involved in our work!

Trans-Pacific Partnership Fast-track Introduced in Senate

TAKE ACTION: Urge Congress to vote against the Camp-Baucus “Fast Track” legislation. —

The passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would pave the road to energy exports and leave American citizens with little regress. For this reason, Portland Rising Tide is partnering with the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign  to oppose this massive new international trade and investment pact. —

ACTION ALERT:  On January 9, Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) and Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced “Fast Track” legislation that would enable the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other free trade agreements to be signed by the White House before the public gets to see them, and then rushed through Congress circumventing ordinary review, amendment and debate procedures. —

Please put in a call to Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s D.C. office. US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121

This may be our last chance to tell Congress “No on the TPP Fast Track.” So don’t wait, call now!
Thank you in advance!
Open post

Feds Issue Safety Alert for Bakken Oil Trains

January 2, 2014 — Photo by Steven Lane/The Columbian —

An alert issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation on Thursday states that the crude oil coming out of the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota poses a ‘significant risk’ because it is more flammable than traditional heavy crude.

The alert was issued just days after the entire population of Casselton, North Dakota was forced to evacuate as a Bakken oil train exploded at least twice, sending fire and thick plumes of toxic smoke into the atmosphere. The oil train explosion was the third in 2013; the Lac-Mégantic, Quebec disaster killed 47 people in July.

The DOT alert and the explosions are particularly relevant for residents of Vancouver, Washington as the state considers a 380,000 barrel-per-day oil terminal proposal by Tesaro and Savage Corporations to ship Bakken oil through Vancouver to domestic and/or foreign ports. Tesaro is responsible for the October 10th pipeline failure which spewed more than 20,000 barrels of crude oil into a wheat field in North Dakota.

The final decision whether or not to allow development of the terminal rests with Washington Governor Jay Inslee and, ultimately, the public.

“Some Washington refineries are already receiving Bakken Oil by train and a handful of ports in the Northwest are considering building facilities to move the oil from trains onto ships”, Ashley Ahearn of OPB Earthfix points out.

Presently, the Washington State Energy Facility Siting Committee (EFSC) is preparing a study of the proposed terminal for the Governor. The EFSC received 31,000 public comments during the scoping process for the study.


Partial History:

In November, fifty activists with Vancouver and Portland Rising Tide blocked entrances to the Port of Vancouver, WA with a community picket line in response to the Port’s re-leasing of public land to Tesoro/Savage for the proposed construction of the oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver.  Trucks backed up down the block as work was delayed for the morning. More here

In December, the City of Vancouver sent a list of 100 concerns to the EFSEC as part of the council’s scoping process to decide what should be included in the environmental review of the project. but fell short of opposing the project.  The City of Vancouver’s comments can be found here.

The Vancouver Port Commission rubber-stamped Tesaro/Savage’s proposal in July despite fierce public opposition, voting unanimously to approve the oil terminal lease. “With their action Tuesday, port commissioners underscored the fact that Vancouver has become an epicenter of global energy market gyrations and national environmental concerns”, wrote Aaron Corvin in the July 23 Columbian.

Posts navigation

1 2 3 6 7 8 9 10
Scroll to top