For Immediate Release: November 5, 2019
Contact: Kelsey Baker, 415.599.6672, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vancouver, WA — Community members from Oregon and Washington have shut down part of the Port of Vancouver, WA to block a shipment of pipeline that is destined for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) project in Canada that would run from Edmonton to Vancouver, B.C. This latest action is the third in a series of actions targeting the Port of Vancouver, WA for its role in transporting dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure. In early September, activists broke the news that pipe for the TMX project’s construction is being imported by ship to the Port of Vancouver, WA and then blockaded a rail line at the Port to prevent the pipe from being transported to British Columbia.
Right now, six climbers have locked themselves to the dock where the shipment is to be off-loaded in order to prevent the pipeline pipes from making it to their final destination in Vancouver, B.C. They are supported by dozens of kayakers and other boaters who are rallying to tell the Port of Vancouver, Governor Inslee, and Prime Minister Trudeau to stop this dangerous fossil fuel project that is jeopardizing a livable future for everyone on this planet.
Activists with Portland Rising Tide and the Mosquito Fleet prevent the bulk carrier Patagonia from docking at the Port of Vancouver, Wash., on November 5, 2019. The protesters are against the ships’s cargo they say is bound for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project in Canada which will carry oil sands bitumen from Edmonton, Alberta to the coast at Burnaby, British Colombia for export to markets in Asia and the US. (Photo by: Alex Milan Tracy)
Kiera, a climber blocking the ship dock, said, “The hypocrisy of the Port of Vancouver is embarrassing. The Port Commissioners should be ashamed — they claim to be environmental stewards concerned about climate catastrophe, yet they are enabling the dirtiest pipeline project in the world by allowing this pipe to pass through the port.”
An activist with Portland Rising Tide, Rachel Walsh, said, “I’m here because tar sands crude transported by the Trans Mountain Expansion project would require three times more water for extracting and refining and would release 15% more greenhouse gas per gallon of gasoline when compared with conventional oil.” She went on to say, “We are also taking action in solidarity with Fort McKay First Nations who are suing the Alberta government because tar sands expansion threatens sacred land that the government promised to protect.”
An Oregonian at the blockade, Jesse Hannon, wants to make it clear that, “The emissions from such an expansion of tar sands oil production could spell game-over for our climate.” This mega-project, which is larger than the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, is opposed by Indigenous communities throughout the region, whose local waters, lands, and treaty rights would be directly threatened by project construction and the risk of an oil spill.
This action, organized by Portland Rising Tide and the Mosquito Fleet, is part of a larger fight against the Trans Mountain Expansion, which has been ongoing since 2014. Both organizations are working with other groups across the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada to pressure Prime Minister Trudeau, Govenor Inslee and the Port of Vancouver, WA, who are all complicit in this project. Groups from the United States, Canada, and around the world have joined together to demand that these elected officials act to stop the Trans Mountain Expansion project immediately, respect the rights of Indigenous groups, and halt any further fossil fuel expansion.
Portland Rising Tide is a local group that is part of a global grassroots network that uses education and direct action to address the root causes of climate change. https://portlandrisingtide.org/
Mosquito Fleet is a local group that organizes on-the-water direct action to halt the export of oil, gas and coal through the Salish Sea. https://mosquitofleet.us/