Oil terminal plan foes pack hearing — State regulators begin evaluating proposal for Vancouver facility

The Columbian– Eric Florip, October 29, 2013– VANCOUVER, WA–

As state regulators prepare to vet a controversial plan to build the region’s largest oil-handling terminal in Vancouver, hundreds of opponents on Tuesday delivered an overwhelming message:

The damage and risk from such an operation would reach well beyond Vancouver and Clark County, opponents said.

More than 300 people filed into Clark College’s Gaiser Hall. The vast majority of them — many clad in red shirts — oppose the project for a variety of reasons.  More here

 

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Solidarity at the OR State Land Board, October 8

On Tuesday morning, October 8, a rally took place in which participants  demanded that Governor Kitzhaber show leadership and take action on climate change.   Together, we made it clear that Oregonians insist that the Governor and the State Land Board (SLB) utilize the full power of their positions to stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects in our state.  Organized by Portland Rising Tide, Greenpeace, and 350.org, this was the first time the Governor has been publicly pressured to take action against all coal, oil, and gas terminals proposed for Oregon.

One of the first opportunities for the SLB to take action will be denying Ambre Energy’s Morrow Pacific Project permit.

Member of Portland Rising Tide and one of the speakers Caroline Hudson said,  “If more fossil fuel development is approved, the environmental impact will be felt all over the world, by my generation and the unborn, long after everyone on the State Land Board is dead and gone. Yet these decisions are still being made without us. With something as overwhelming as climate change, it’s easy to feel hopeless but our communities have the power to stop any coal, oil, gas terminals and we hope the Governor joins us.”

 Michael Gaskill, also a member of Portland Rising Tide, addressed the State Land Board, and directly asked Governor Kitzhaber to state his opposition and willingness to take all action available to him to halt any new coal, oil, and gas construction in Oregon. The Governor declined to take this stand, voicing only that he felt climate change was an important issue.

RT will continue to organize and take action until all new fossil fuel infrastructure is abandoned; conservation, lifestyle change and renewable energy will take its place.

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Lummi Tribal Carver Takes Giant Totem Pole On “Healing” Journey

Oregon Public Broadcasting — Earthfix — Ashley Ahearn, Sept 26, 2013

Jewell Praying Wolf James is a tribal leader and master carver of the Lummi Nation. …The Lummi tribal reservation abuts the proposed site of the largest coal export terminal on the West coast. He’s carved a 22-foot totem pole that represents tribal opposition to coal and oil exports in the Northwest. James is driving the totem pole from the mines in the Powder River Basin of Montana all along the coal train routes to Seattle, where he stopped into the KUOW studios to talk with EarthFix’s Ashley Ahearn. From Seattle he’ll continue to British Columbia for a final ceremony and presentation of the totem pole to a first nation who is opposing the Kinder-Morgan oil sands pipeline north of Vancouver.

James is driving the totem pole from the mines in the Powder River Basin of Montana all along the coal train routes to Seattle, where he stopped into the KUOW studios to talk with EarthFix’s Ashley Ahearn. From Seattle he’ll continue to British Columbia for a final ceremony and presentation of the totem pole to a first nation who is opposing the Kinder-Morgan oil sands pipeline north of Vancouver.

Read more and listen to Mr James’ brief interview with Ashley Ahearn.

 

U.S. Issues New Plan For Columbia River Treaty

OPB– Aaron Kunz,  September 20, 2013 – BOISE, Idaho — Climate change and fish protection should be top considerations when the United States and Canada renegotiate a treaty over how the neighboring countries should manage the Columbia River.

That’s the recommendation of U.S. regulators in a new draft issued Friday. The treaty is a half-century-old agreement controlling the Columbia River’s flow between Canada and the United States.

The draft proposed for the Columbia River Treaty went public, giving citizens and interest groups a chance to comment before it goes to the U.S. State Department in December to present to the Canadian government.

It includes key environmental provisions to address concerns that weren’t anticipated when the original treaty was adopted in 1964. Since then, 13 species of salmon and steelhead have been listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act in the U.S. portion of the Columbia, which is the fourth biggest river in North America.

Continued…

Longview coal hearing draws foes, backers

The Daily News– Erik Olson and Barbara LaBoe, September 17, 2013

— Four more hearings are scheduled for $643 million project, including one in Vancouver —

About 2,000 people jammed into the Cowlitz Expo Center on Tuesday evening, capping six hours of hearings on a proposed Longview coal terminal in which both sides rallied vigorously but without the incivility law enforcement officials had feared.

With opponents dressed in red and supporters donning blue, the Expo Center resembled a mixed-party political convention, with the reds, many bused in from outside the area, having a decided majority.

Outside, a sign on a 12-foot-tall inflatable globe declared “Coal is poison,” and a majority of people shared those sentiments when they urged state, federal and Cowlitz County regulators to conduct a broad environmental review of a $643 million Millennium Bulk Terminals proposal to export 44 million tons of coal annually at the old Reynolds Metals site.

Continued…

 

Idaho tribe files suit to halt megaload headed to tar sands

Los Angeles Times — Rick Rojas, August 9, 2013 —

SEATTLE — The Native American tribe that has blocked a narrow highway running through the central Idaho wilderness in order to stall a load carrying equipment to the tar sands in Canada has announced they have turned to a different tactic: a lawsuit.

The Nez Perce tribe announced that it had a filed suit demanding that federal wildlife officials halt the so-called megaload — reportedly stretching over 200 feet and weighing about 644,000 pounds — and prevent others like it.

Since Monday, members of the tribe have stood on Highway 12 each night to form a blockade as the shipment tried to move through. At least 20 people have been arrested, according to local authorities.

Tribal officials said they decided to file the lawsuit — in conjunction with the group Idaho Rivers United — after they believed they had “been left with no other option.”

More Here

Port of Vancouver’s actions at meeting spur complaint

The ColumbianAaron Corvin, August 12, 2013 —  The Washington state Auditor’s Office is reviewing a complaint filed by a Vancouver resident about the Port of Vancouver’s decision to bar the public from a discussion of a controversial proposal to build the Pacific Northwest’s biggest oil terminal.

The auditor’s office said Monday it received the complaint on Aug. 8 through its citizen hotline, a system set up to improve efficiency and accountability in state and local governments.

The complaint concerns the questionable use of executive session by port Commissioners Jerry Oliver, Brian Wolfe and Nancy Baker during a July 22 special public meeting to discuss broad elements of a lease with Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies. The companies want to handle as much as 380,000 barrels of crude per day, hauled by train from the Bakken site in North Dakota.

Tribal activists block Idaho highway over tar sands ‘megaload’

REUTERS – Laura Zuckerman, August 6, 2013 –

SALMON, Idaho – Police arrested 19 members of the Nez Perce Tribe on Tuesday on suspicion of disorderly conduct for refusing to break a human chain blocking a highway in Idaho in protest against a 322-ton load of equipment bound for the tar sands of Alberta, Canada.

The blockade by more than 250 mostly Native American protesters halted travel of a so-called megaload for two hours on a scenic roadway at the front lines of an ideological struggle over North American oil and gas development and its impact on the environment, local communities and native cultures.

The Nez Perce said they staged the protest to oppose the shipment of massive oil refinery equipment along wild stretches of two prized Idaho rivers, the Clearwater and the Lochsa, and through Nez Perce and protected federal lands.

The 19 Nez Perce activists who were arrested by tribal police on Tuesday were later released on bail, authorities said. The megaload resumed its journey after the protest.

Nez Perce Chairman Silas C. Whitman said in a statement that tribal leaders were against “the conversion of this wild and scenic area into a high and wide industrial corridor.”

The load, which measures 255 feet long, 21 feet wide and 23 feet tall, is one of two planned shipments by an Oregon hauling company, Omega Morgan, of a water purification unit being trucked to Alberta production fields, according to an Idaho transportation permit issued on Friday.

The route along U.S. Highway 95 and U.S. 12 follows a historic trail broken by early Nez Perce bison hunters and used in the early 19th century by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on a government-sponsored expedition that charted the newly purchased American West.

Megaload opponents say the oversize trucks may impair the visual and ecological values of the trail and a river corridor that supports threatened steelhead and Chinook salmon and fuels a tourist economy tied to rafting, fishing, camping and hunting.

The Omega Morgan load, which will take four nights to cross Idaho into Montana, was approved by Idaho over the objections of environmentalists and despite U.S. Forest Service concerns.

“This is a quiet, winding mountain highway through a beautiful river canyon, not an industrial park,” said Kevin Lewis, conservation director of Idaho Rivers United.

The Forest Service had sought to stop the shipment pending a study of its social, economic and ecological impacts.

Omega Morgan spokeswoman Olga Haley said an Idaho permit allowed the shipment to proceed but declined further comment. Clearwater County Commissioner Don Ebert supported the shipments.

“What are we going to stop next? We have to have commerce in this country,” he said.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Mohammad Zargham)

Climate Action on the Columbia

Saturday we drew the line. On July 27th, some 800 people came together from across the region including Vancouver (WA), the Tri-Cities, Astoria, Eugene, Bellingham, Vancouver (BC), Seattle, Portland and Hood River to demonstrate our unity in opposition to the oil, coal and gas terminals proposed throughout the Northwest and our commitment to take action such that none shall pass through our region.

Hundreds attended workshops in the morning and we heard from speakers organizing against coal, oil and gas terminals in Portland, Vancouver (WA), Bellingham, Vancouver (BC) and the lower Columbia estuary. Then hundreds took the to water and the bridge to create a symbolic blockade of the river and to demonstrate our readiness to prevent these terminals from being constructed. In a surprise addition to the action a huge banner was dropped reading “Coal, Oil, Gas / None Shall Pass”.

We gathered on the Columbia because our communities and our climate cannot afford any expansion in polluting fossil fuel infrastructure. We took action Saturday because we know it is our moral responsibility to take a stand and halt projects that aim to turn the Pacific Northwest into a dirty fossil fuel corridor. Our region is poised to play a pivotal role with projects that would allow the burning of enough fossil fuels to have three times the impact as the Keystone XL pipeline. And if we stop these terminals that means they can’t ship it. And if they can’t ship it, they can’t sell it. And that means it stays in the ground.

Saturday was just a beginning. We symbolically blockaded the river to demonstrate our willingness to participate in nonviolent civil disobedience and direct action to prevent these terminals from being constructed should they move forward anywhere in our region. I hope you feel like Jeanne Poirer, from Cashmere, Washington who stated to the Oregonian, “I’ll be back for the real thing”.

If you are interested in learning more about participating in nonviolent civil disobedience and direct action please let us know by filling our this short form: https://portlandrisingtide.org/2013/07/nvda-sign-up/

It was inspiring to be with all of you who were present on Saturday. We could also feel the presence of the thousands of you who weren’t able to join us. We are mobilized and united as a region against these fossil fuel terminals. We are committed to taking action to address the climate crisis. Together we can stop them!

Media and write-ups about Saturday:

http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/portland-activists-blockade-columbia-river-in-symbolic-protest-against-fossil-fuel-shipments/

http://www.kgw.com/news/Environmental-protest-on-Columbia-River-217239641.html

http://www.katu.com/news/local/Hundreds-protest-plan-to-ship-fossil-fuels-on-Columbia-River-217256831.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/07/protestors_go_by_land_and_rive.html

http://earthfix.opb.org/energy/article/oil-terminal-fuels-vancouver-protest/

http://www.columbian.com/news/2013/jul/27/demonstrators-take-bridge-river-protest-fossil-fue/

 

PDXSH

 

Port of Vancouver unanimously approves oil terminal lease

The Columbian– Aaron Corvin, July 23, 2013 –  The Port of Vancouver held a public meeting on Tesoro’s proposal to build the largest crude oil terminal on the west coast. Thanks to all who voiced  fierce opposition to the proposal. On the following morning, Tuesday, July 23,  Port Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the plan.

“The commissioners’ decision was a first step in determining whether the oil terminal — which would handle up to 380,000 barrels of crude per day from the Bakken oil shale formation in North Dakota — will get built. …The Tesoro-Savage proposal must (now) undergo an examination by the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, which would make a recommendation to Gov. Jay Inslee, who has the final say” wrote the Columbian.

“With their action Tuesday, port commissioners underscored the fact that Vancouver has become an epicenter of global energy market gyrations and national environmental concerns”.

“Moments after the commissioners’ decision, opponents issued a news release saying they’ll turn out hundreds of people in Vancouver this Saturday as part of a national series of protests against building fossil-fuel infrastructure in the Northwest”.

– Aaron Corvin, August 12, 2013 –

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