Nov. 1-4: Stop GTN Xpress Week of Actions

cross-posted from Wild Idaho Rising Tide

Media Advisory

October 30, 2022

Media contacts:

Helen Yost, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, 208-301-8039

Maig Tinnin, Rogue Climate, 541-852-2496


Stop GTN Xpress Week of Actions

Regional organizations and grassroots activists of 350 Spokane, Extinction Rebellion Palouse, Idaho Chapter Sierra Club, Rogue Climate, Veterans for Peace Spokane Chapter 35, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) are co-hosting three early November protests of the Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) Xpress pipeline expansion project.  These allied groups are publicly demonstrating in solidarity with frontline, indigenous, Wet’suwet’en protectors of their sovereignty and unceded territories from Coastal GasLink pipeline construction in British Columbia.  The Canadian fossil fuels parent company of GTN, TC Energy (formerly TransCanada), notoriously owns Coastal GasLink and the incomplete Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

As an essential part of its application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), GTN must disclose pre-arranged, binding, precedent agreements with natural gas utilities, to demonstrate economic need and public interest in the project.  Cascade Natural Gas, headquartered in Kennewick, Washington, has reserved an extra 20 million cubic feet per day of GTN Xpress gas, for delivery to Oregon and Washington customers.  Intermountain Gas based in Boise, Idaho, has agreed to accept 79 million cubic feet of gas per day, more than half of GTN Xpress gas capacity.  Only passing through the sparsely populated north Idaho panhandle, GTN Xpress gas for southern Idaho would displace some Williams Northwest pipeline gas across the Snake River Plain utility service area.

A growing Northwest movement and emerging coalition are planning peaceful, effective citizen pickets on nearby walkways outside fossil fuels corporate offices, to confront the perpetrators of the Coastal GasLink and GTN Xpress gas pipelines and attract a broad range of public involvement.  Volunteer organizers encourage participants and supporters of these lively demonstrations to bring friends, families, signs, banners, and props, and share this event announcement and flyer and other issue outreach materials.

  • Tuesday, November 1, 4 pm PDT at TC Energy, 201 West North River Drive, Suite 505, Spokane, Washington: Meet on the north path along the Spokane River
  • Wednesday, November 2, 4 pm PDT at Cascade Natural Gas, 8113 West Grandridge Boulevard, Kennewick, Washington: Gather on the south sidewalk
  • Friday, November 4, 4 pm MDT at Intermountain Gas, 555 South Cole Road, Boise, Idaho: Converge on the west walkway near the Farmers Lateral Canal

Issue Background

Attempting to foist stranded “natural” gas assets on unwitting citizens and utility ratepayers, TC Energy has stealthily secured approval by government regulatory agencies for increasing volumes in a dozen other pipelines, instead of building new, more controversial infrastructure.  GTN has applied to FERC for a required certificate of public convenience and necessity for GTN Xpress, to upgrade the capacity of three compressor stations and move an additional 150 million cubic feet per day of methane gas along its 1,354-mile pipeline from British Columbia, through north Idaho, eastern Washington, and central Oregon, to southern Idaho and California.  The 61-year-old, potentially explosive, fracked gas pipeline is dangerously located under the Spokane, Washington, area and below Sandpoint, Idaho and a nearby Schweitzer ski resort parking lot.  The Athol, Idaho, pump station proposed for expansion stands only two miles from the popular visitor destination and precarious rides of Silverwood Theme Park.

As another industrial corridor for increasing corporate profits and imposing risks with few benefits on neighboring communities, GTN Xpress would extend fossil fuels extraction and industry and government violence toward First Nations people and their lands and waters around the pipeline origin, and would dismiss the public input process rights and jeopardize the health and safety of directly affected, rural and tribal residents close to the pipeline route and compressor stations, with higher exposure to volatile and cancer-causing emissions and hazardous gas leaks, explosions, and accidents.  With current GTN pipeline volumes already double the market demand that is rapidly decreasing, while renewable energy costs decline, GTN Xpress would boost Northwest gas consumption, burden utility ratepayers with expensively investing in prolonged fossil fuels infrastructure, and disproportionately impact low-income communities with worse respiratory diseases.  This boondoggle would increase the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change by 3.25 million-plus metric tons per year (up 16 percent in Idaho, 7.7 percent in Oregon, and 3.8 percent in Washington) and exacerbate the extreme droughts, wildfires, storms, floods, and global air, water, and climate pollution attributed to fossil fuels.

During its comment period on the GTN Xpress draft environmental impact statement (EIS) that closed on August 22, FERC received over 1,300 oppositional petition signatures and extensive remarks from concerned citizens, climate and environmental groups, and tribal, state, and federal government officials, denouncing deficient climate effects analysis, inadequate evidence of economic need, and the pipeline expansion’s significant contributions to worsening climate change, while the Northwest transitions off outmoded, destructive fossil fuels toward more sustainable, renewable energy sources.

The attorneys general of Washington, Oregon, and California filed joint comments calling on FERC to deny a GTN Xpress permit and motioning to intervene in the FERC case.  They raised concerns that the pipeline expansion would force more fossil fuels on West Coast state residents for at least another 30 years, violate state policy commitments to reduce climate-polluting emissions by 80 to 95 percent by 2050, and make these ambitious but crucial targets more difficult to achieve.  In more recent comments to FERC, Idaho senators, congressmen, and the governor disputed the legal basis of the West Coast state attorneys general arguments.  The commission still has not granted, and GTN has motioned against, the case involvement of these attorneys general.  With postponed release of a final EIS anticipated on November 18 and a conclusive FERC decision on GTN Xpress expected in February 2023, Northwest communities are acting swiftly to halt this proposal and oppose any new or expanded fossil fuels extraction, transportation, and infrastructure projects.


For further information, visit the WIRT website and facebook pages describing GTN Xpress impacts and updates and pipeline resistance opportunities:

Stop Camp Grayling Protesters Hang Banner, Light Fireworks at DNR Director’s Home.”

cross-posted from Stop Camp Grayling

For immediate release:

Stop Camp Grayling Protesters Hang Banner, Light Fireworks at DNR Director’s Home.

Forest defenders descend on DNR director Dan Eichenger’s home to demand he reject the land-use agreement with the Michigan National Guard… (and) call on the DNR to return the land to its rightful stewards: the Ojibwa, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples.

’We know the military exists to bring pain and misery to our relatives and our earth,’ said a group member. ‘The war machine must be stopped, and our targets have names and addresses. ’We will be back.’

Full release:

Redwood Nation Earth First!: 50 Join “Hell No!” Rally at CalFire Office in Ft. Bragg, CA

Lockdown at Calfire Ft. Bragg office protest Oct. 20 “Hell No” Rally to protest Calfire´s insufficient Co-Managment proposal. Photos by Redwood Nation Earth First!

For immediate release

Oct. 21, 2022

Contact: Naomi Wagner 707-502-6181, 707-459-0548

 “Hell No!” Rally at Ft. Bragg CalFire Office

Community Rejects CalFire Proposal for Co-management of Caspar 500 in Jackson Forest

Ft. Bragg, CA –On Thursday over fifty people with signs and banners proclaiming “Pomo Land Back” and “Hands Off Caspar,” rallied at the Town Hall in Ft. Bragg, then marched to the CalFire office to protest vehemently against the regulatory agency’s recent bogus proposal for “co-management” with local Indigenous tribes, now policy of the state of California, of Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF)

CalFire’s take-or-leave it proposal, delivered in a Sept. 26 letter from Registered Professional Forester Kirk O’Dwyer to Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians Historic Preservation Officer, Priscilla Hunter, offered only 75 acres for tribal co-management on a portion of the hotly contested “Caspar 500” 500 acre timber harvest plan (THP) least valued by the contracted timber company and failed even to mention protection of numerous sacred and cultural sites that are at the heart of tribal concerns.

Native activists and community members expressed outrage at the “broken promise” of CalFire’s much vaunted “vision” for co-management of Jackson, the ancestral home of the northern Yuki and Pomo tribes. For Priscilla Hunter, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians, a CalFire proposed vision that does not address ancestral cultural site protection measures is not a vision at all acceptable to the Native community.

Her position is that years of logging, road building and skid trail operations straight through ancestral sites must be halted. In the Caspar 500 and Soda Gulch THP’s, both already approved for logging operations, road building is once again proposed straight through archaeological sites. Also currently under development by CalFire is a proposed THP that would place a road straight though Three Chop Village, which is considered the most important archaeological site in all of Mendocino County. So although Tribal Co-Management is given lip service in the CalFire Vision Statement in reality they are proceeding to unilaterally propose THP operations that continue to desecrate Sacred Sites.

The crowd chanted, prayed and beseeched CalFire to change its policies and take the opportunity to implement true equal co-management with the Tribes throughout the 50,000 acre publicly owned forest.

Four people locked themselves together in front of CalFire’s front doors, which displayed a “Closed” sign during regular working hours, using the metal lockboxes that are the hallmark of Earth First! style nonviolent Civil Disobedience. No arrests were made.

“This lockdown may be symbolic today,” long time forest activist Naomi Wagner told CalFire, “but if you try to cut trees in Caspar 500, or bulldoze Sacred Sites, this will be our response.” Wagner called CalFire a “captured regulatory agency controlled by the timber industry” and called out Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC), the largest forestland owner in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, specifically. MRC logs in Jackson, sits on the Jackson Advisory Committee and on the California Board of Forestry. She called for a buy-out of Willits Redwood Company’s contract on Caspar 500. CalFire was allocated $10 million for non-timber harvest related expenses this year and is slated to receive another $10 million in 2023. Girvin said Calfire is still preparing THPs however, without co-management plans or tribal consent.

Thirteen-year-old middle school student Ravel spoke passionately to the urgent need to protect redwoods for carbon storage and climate stabilization and queried CalFire: “We know you [Calfire] know about climate change, but do you care? Do you care about my future and your children’s future?”

Anna Marie Stenberg, one of the four locking down, promised CalFire the people wouldn’t stop protesting until their demands were met and a “moratorium” on cutting trees was reinstated so that dialogue could resume. CalFire had paused logging activities for some months during government-to-government negotiations with the Pomo but recently reneged, giving timber companies the green light to log again. This betrayal of good faith prompted Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Priscilla Hunter to demand: “No more broken promises!” Larry Aguilera, also locked down, prayed for help to win CalFire over to a better management system for the forest, one dedicated to restoration and protection for all.

The Coalition to Save Jackson Forest issued a response opposing the terms of the O’Dwyer letter, calling for a moratorium and enumerating six specific demands.

  • Restoration of good-faith negotiations with the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians
  • Protection measures for sacred sites
  • Implementation of the Betts Commission Report (1999) recommendations to protect the many sacred sites within JDSF, including the Caspar 500 and Soda Gulch sites.
  • An Indigenous model of management and scientific inquiry within JDSF that prioritizes forest protection and restoration over profit.
  • Cessation of all herbicide and hack and squirt operations in JDSF in support of both Tribal cultural values and the goals of the Measure V Initiative passed overwhelmingly by the citizens of Mendocino County.

Climate protestors occupy oil terminal in Montreal

pic via collectifantigone

cross-posted from Montreal CTV