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Standoff Between Climate Justice Activists and Cops in Lobby of Omega Morgan Building

Earth First Newswire — December 13, 2013 — Employees at the Omega Morgan corporation were surprised to find a boisterous crowd of climate justice activists in their Hillsboro office challenging their role in tar sands extraction.

The activists burst into a meeting with chants and banners, causing the meeting to disperse. One protestor then read a letter to employees of Omega Morgan demanding that they stop moving mega loads and cut ties to tar sands extraction.

An employee denied the activists’ demand to meet with the CEO, because they weren’t on the schedule, prompting Mike Gaskill with Portland Rising Tide to declare, “Omega Morgan moved mega loads through Umatilla land without asking, so we aren’t the only ones who show up without being on the schedule.”

Pictured:  18 cop cars parked outside of the office; 11 cops formed a line inside of the lobby to keep activists from leaving. Police insisted that the activists leave or be arrested,; one of the cops reportedly delivered a letter from Portland Rising Tide to the CEO of Omega Morgan.

Hillsboro police spokesman Michael Rouches said no one was cited or arrested.

“They were very peaceful,” Rouches said. “They were saying whatever they needed to say, and they split.”

This is one of several actions in the last 2 weeks, including an office occupation in Fife, WA, by Seattle Rising Tide in solidarity with protestors who stopped the Omega Morgan megaload from rolling out of the Port of Umatilla by locking down to the 380 foot long behemoth.

More Here:

AP Wire:  The Island Packet

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Vancouver fails to oppose oil terminal or request comprehensive environmental review

Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies want to spend up to $100 million to build a 42-acre oil-handling operation involving Port of Vancouver sites.  It would be the largest such operation in the Northwest.  The city of Vancouver requested that state regulators conduct a  “thorough oil-terminal study”  but failed to oppose the oil terminal or request comprehensive environmental review. The public comment/scoping period ends Wednesday, December 18.

The following article by Aaron Corvin was published in the Columbian on December 10. Photo: Steven Lane, The Columbian

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Vancouver neighborhoods cut off from fire and police protection by increased train traffic. A highly volatile commodity traveling near homes. An industrial area prone to liquefying in an earthquake.

Those are among more than 100 areas of concern the city of Vancouver wants state regulators to include in their examination of the environmental impacts of a proposed oil-by-rail operation at the Port of Vancouver.

City officials on Monday presented to the City Council a draft 12-page document outlining Vancouver’s concerns about the proposal by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies to run a facility capable of handling as much as 380,000 barrels of crude per day for eventual conversion into transportation fuels. It would be the largest such operation in the Northwest.

The city will send its concerns to the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, or EFSEC, as part of the council’s scoping process to decide what should be included in the environmental review of the project. The deadline for submitting remarks is Dec. 18.

Senior Planner Jon Wagner told city councilors that thousands of people have submitted comments to EFSEC. “I feel confident the project will be thoroughly reviewed,” he said.

Project opponents want the city to request a comprehensive environmental review and to oppose the project. They include Jim Eversaul, a Vancouver resident and retired U.S. Coast Guard chief engineer, who was among 11 people who spoke to city councilors last month. “It’s just not that many jobs for the price,” he said of the oil-handling facility.

The city’s concerns reflect many of those raised by opponents, including potential oil spills, detrimental impacts to the city’s waterfront redevelopment plan and climate change. But the city isn’t taking a position on the oil terminal, according to its scoping comments. Instead, the city “encourages EFSEC to require a full and comprehensive analysis of the probable, significant adverse environmental impacts of the entire project.”

In an email to The Columbian, Rebecca Boucher, a spokeswoman for Savage, said the company and Tesoro declined to comment for this story.

More here

From Yellowbird Lives in the heartland of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation upholding the Treaty of 1855

From Yellowbird Lives in the heartland of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation upholding the Treaty of 1855

 

Winter, Dec. 10, 2013

 

Last night at approximately 7:50pm CTUIR Tribal members gathered in song & prayer. Led by Walla Walla Chief Carl Sampson (Yellowbird) and Shaker leader Art McConville. There were moments of police interruption but the group stood strong in their right and belief to protect our aboriginal treaty rights of the ceded boundary area of 1855.

 

We stood witness to the Megaload movement at approximately 10pm. Two Tribal women, Linda & Sandy Sampson followed the Beasts trail to it’s  ODOT approved destination of Ukiah, Oregon and on its destructive path to our relatives of the First Nations. Along the path more than a dozen folks in the community of Pilot Rock stood witness the entourage of vehicles with police & ODOT escorts. Documented footage and photos of the dangerous road conditions will be given to our Tribal Chairmans, Alan Crawford and Gary Burke as they prepare for Government to Government consultation ( a letter from Chairman Burke was sent to Governor Kitzhaber on 12/9/13).

 

It appears the Omega Morgan Company is in direct violation of their own agreement with the State of Oregon/ODOT regulation:

 

“734-075-0600 Weather Restrictions 1) Movement is prohibited when  road surfaces are hazardous due to ice, snow, or frost or when visibility is less than 500 feet due to snow, mist, rain, dust, smoke, fog or other atmospheric conditions.”

 

Chief Carl Sampson, Peo-Peo-Mox-Mox translated as Yellowbird has spoken to the Umatilla and Cayuse Chiefs; as well as our relatives of the Columbia River Treaty Tribes: Nez Perce, Warm Springs, Yakama & Burns-Paiute, to come together on Saturday at noon for a traditional pipe ceremony.  The public will be invited to parts of the ceremony and the potluck dinner to follow at our Longhouse with more details  posted by 12/12/13.

 

Follow the load on:

https://portlandrisingtide.org/megaload-tracker/

 

Our Tribal website: www.ctuir.org

 

Tribal member x-603. Wey-ow’sux. Cathy Sampson-kruse

 

Send moccasin telegraph to these contacts: Indigenous Environmental Network, Last Real Indians, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Northwest Indian Fish Commission, Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians, Alaska Federation of Natives, First Nations People, National Congress of American Indians, 350.org, NRDCSaveBioGems, NextGen Climate Action Committee, Honor the Earth

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Umatilla Confederated Tribes Hold Megaload Ceremony, Continue Resistance

Kayla Godowa-Tufti, December 3, 2013 –  Members of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation and friends gathered tonight in Pendleton, Oregon to hold ceremony at the site where the Omega Morgan “mega load” remains.

Oregon Department of Transportation confirmed that freezing weather and last nights snow storm has prevented the load from moving tonight.
Elders and many young leaders from CTUIR came out to speak from their hearts about how this haul will threaten the values and traditions that we hold so dearly to us in the Columbia River Plateau.

The end destination for this load is approximately 20 kilometers southwest of Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, Canada, the site of Athabaska Oil Corp’s Hangingstone tar sands project.

Omega Morgan, the shipping company, is attempting to move equipment along a rural highway in Oregon, in hopes to avoid the recent controversy they faced in Nez Perce territory.

Government to government consultation has not taken place with Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation or Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs of Oregon, as required by law, to grant a permit to Omega Morgan.

The ceremony and resistance will continue as Omega Morgan attempts to make it through snow and ice within our homelands.

–Kayla L. Godowa-Tufti is an active member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs of Oregon

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Two Activists Lockdown, Stop Megaload!

Near the Port of Umatilla two people locked down to a megaload of equipment bound for the Alberta tar sands halting its planned departure at 10:00 PM as tribal members and climate justice groups rallied nearby. The equipment, a 901,000 lb. water purifier 22 feet wide, 18 feet tall and 376 feet in length was met by fifty people and was prevented from departing as scheduled. It had planned to leave the Port of Umatilla, head south on 395, then east on 26 on Sunday night.

This week’s protest was larger than a similar protest last week as news of the shipment has spread throughout the region. An estimated 50 people greeted the megaload with signs as it’s schedule departure time neared. Before it could depart two participants locked themselves to the trucks hauling the megaload, the first time they have been blockaded in this way. This is the first of three megaloads the Hillsboro, OR based shipping company Omega Morgan has scheduled to move through the region in December and January. Similar loads sparked major protests moving through Idaho and Montana including a blockade by the Nez Pierce tribe in August.

Please join on Thursday for an info and planning meeting about what happened tonight and how you can get involved! There are two more megaloads scheduled to move through Oregon over the next two months.

If you’d like to get updates or just want to be kept further in the loop about Northwest megaload resistance click here!

 

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MedaLoadLockdown1

Tar Sands and Megaload background information and links:

-Following years of amazing resistance by the Nez Perce and other allies in Idaho, Including Wild Idaho Rising Tide, companies shipping critical tarsands equipment (megaloads) have been forced to explore ever more bizarre and circuitous routes to get to Alberta, Canada, and the most destructive project on earth.
-The Umatilla Tribe has officially stated that they oppose the shipment.
 
-This load is a 900,000 lb., 380 ft long, water purifier bound for the Alberta Tar Sands. It will be making it’s way through Oregon, into Idaho, Montana and Alberta.-Omega Morgan is a shipping company based near Portland, OR and is profiting greatly off the tar sands. They have been working to establish a viable route from the Columbia River to the tar sands in order to import equipment built overseas.-The company and state have either not or only nominally consulted the Umatilla and Warm Springs Tribes and Oregon citizens in rushed decisions about this colossal venture that could degrade public infrastructure and establish a “high and wide” corridor for industrial shipments to the most destructive and outmoded, fossil fuel extraction undertaking on Earth: Alberta tar sands mining.
The megaloads  present an opportunity to confront the tar sands expansion on our home turf; as climate justice activists we must seize this opportunity.
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Protesters Show Up, Megaload Doesn’t Budge from Umatilla

November 25, 2013  —  Hillsboro-based Omega Morgan is the trucking company hired by a subsidiary of General Electric Co. to ship massive oil refinery equipment manufactured in South Korea to the tar sands project in western Canada. ODOT regional spokesman Tom Strandberg previously said the oversize loads could begin moving along highways in eastern Oregon to southern Idaho either Sunday or Monday night.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide reports that as of late Sunday, the megaload had not left the port of Umatilla. “It never budged,” writes George Plaven of Eastern Oregon, “sitting under towering floodlights while workers with Omega Morgan continued to prepare the oversized transport for its first leg south through Hermiston and east into Pendleton”.

If the shipment proceeds as planned, it will eventually reach the John Day Valley before crossing east into southern Idaho and north through Montana en route to Canada.The load is only permitted to travel between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., and no more than eight consecutive hours per night.

A working map of the route for the 650,000 pound, three-story high equipment has been posted by All Against the Haul and can be viewed here.

As promised, about 20 protesters gathered on a toe-numbing Sunday night and waited for the first of three “megaloads” to leave the Port of Umatilla hauling massive refinery equipment into the oil sands of Alberta, Canada.  Climate activists oppose providing a route on Oregon highways for a vessel they said will contribute to increased carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. Jim Powers, of Albany, also said the Oregon Department of Transportation rushed to permit the project without enough public process.

The tar sands mines of Alberta, Canada  are among the largest mines of any type in world.  Tar sands oil is the most toxic fossil fuel on the planet.   Its extraction leaves in its wake scarred landscapes and a web of pipelines and polluting refineries.  As it delays our transition to a clean energy economy, tar sands has been identified as the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions growth in Canada, as it accounts for 40 million tons of CO2 emissions per year according to Greenpeace.

Updates to the planned Omegaloads will be tracked and reported by Portland Rising Tide, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, All Against the Haul and CoalMarch.org.

 

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Tar Sands Megaload Set to Roll from Umatilla on Sunday Night, November 24

November 21, 2013  —  Omega Morgan is the trucking company hired by a subsidiary of General Electric Co. to ship massive oil refinery equipment manufactured in South Korea to the tar sands project in western Canada. AP reports that plans to begin moving the oversized loads along highways in eastern Oregon and southern Idaho according to officials in both states.

“The first of the so-called megaloads could begin making its way from the Port of Umatilla in Oregon this weekend before crossing the Snake River and into Idaho’s southwestern corner next week” according to the AP report.

A working map of the route for the 650,000 pound, three-story high equipment manufactured in South Korea, has been posted by All Against the Haul and can be viewed here.

The load’s Idaho leg “is now proposed along U.S. Highway 93, up Lost Trail Pass, with an elevation of 7,014 feet, and into southwestern Montana” according to AP.  From there, the massive equipment would wend northward along small highways and through small towns to its final destination, the tar sands mines of Alberta, Canada which are among the largest mines of any type in world.

Tar sands oil is the most toxic fossil fuel on the planet.   Its extraction leaves in its wake scarred landscapes and a web of pipelines and polluting refineries.  As it delays our transition to a clean energy economy, tar sands has been identified as the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions growth in Canada, as it accounts for 40 million tons of CO2 emissions per year according to Greenpeace.

Updates to the planned Omegaloads will be tracked and reported by Portland,Rising Tide, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, All Against the Haul and CoalMarch.org.

 

Comments On Longview Coal Export Project Reach 164,000

Oregon Public Broadcasting — Earthfix — Cassandra Profita, November 18, 2013 –

More than 164,000 public comments (updated from 163,000 – Ed.) have flooded the environmental review of the Millennium coal export terminal proposed for Longview, Wash.

That’s the number of letters, emails, and statements read aloud at public meetings (at the close of the comment period). It exceeds the 125,000 comments agencies received on the environmental review of the Gateway Pacific coal export project in Bellingham, Wash., earlier this year.

November 18, 2013 was the deadline for the public to comment on the Millennium project during this phase of the environmental review — so the total could climb even higher, according to Linda Kent, spokeswoman for the Washington Department of Ecology. People can read all the comments online.

Ecology is one of three agencies taking comments on which environmental impacts they should study before permitting begins along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Cowlitz County. Kent said her agency hasn’t set a timeline for reviewing all the comments.

More Here

WA State Agency Blocks Permits For 2 Grays Harbor Oil Terminals

Oregon Public Broadcasting — Earthfix — Ashley Ahearn, November 14, 2013

—  The Washington Shorelines Hearings Board is blocking permits for two crude oil shipping terminals in Grays Harbor, saying backers have failed to address public safety and environmental issues.

The State Department of Ecology worked with the city of Hoquiam to approve permits for the terminals earlier this year.

The Quinault Indian Nation and several conservation groups successfully argued that permits issued for two terminals in Grays Harbor, Washington should be reversed.

“Those permits should have never been issued in the first place,” said Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinalt Nation.

“The shipping terminals would be a clear violation of public safety as well as treaty-protected rights. Far more jobs would be lost when the inevitable spills occur than would be gained from the development of the proposed oil terminals,” Sharp said.

The Washington Shorelines Hearings Board said the permits didn’t adequately assess the environmental risk of oil spills, seismic events, greenhouse gas emissions, and impacts to cultural resources.

More Here

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Climate Activists Hold Community Picket Against Proposed Oil Terminal

Rising Tide Press Release –November 4, 2013–VANCOUVER, WA–  Fifty activists with Vancouver and Portland Rising Tide blocked entrances to the Port of Vancouver, WA with a community picket line. Trucks backed up down the block as work was delayed for the morning.

Vancouver and Portland Rising Tide organized the community picket in response to the Port’s re-leasing of public land to Tesoro/Savage for the proposed construction of a 380,000 barrel per day oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver. The terminal would bring oil by rail from North Dakota and likely the tar sands, through the city of Vancouver, WA and load it on to tankers for shipping to refineries and export. The Port of Vancouver has been the site of an ongoing picket line due to unsafe working conditions in their Mitsui-United Grain terminal by another group, the ILWU Local 4.

According to Vancouver Rising Tide Member Kathy Lane, “These trains are a huge risk to our community and if the Port of Vancouver can’t even keep conditions safe for grain terminal workers, how can we expect an oil port run by a company with as terrible a record as Tesoro not to end in disaster? We can’t.”

Rising Tide is an international group with chapters in Portland and Vancouver that works to address the root causes of climate change. Today’s action follows the July 27th Rising Tide event at the Port of Vancouver in which over 1,000 people rallied against all of the proposed fossil fuel terminals in the Pacific Northwest. Participants took to the I-5 bridge and kayaks while three climbers rapelled from the bridge to unfurl a banner that read “Coal, Oil, Gas  / None Shall Pass”.

“Even in the best case, even if there isn’t a spill or explosion for years, this terminal will lock us into our reliance on fossil fuels and climate chaos. Building this kind of infrastructure is fundamentally the wrong way to go, especially with public port land” said Portland Rising Tide member Mia Rebak .

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High resolution photos of the day’s actions:

http://www.demotix.com/news/3138207/protesters-against-proposed-oil-terminal-shut-down-port-vancouver

http://www.demotix.com/news/3138321/protesters-picket-port-vancouver-over-unsafe-working-conditions

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