Utah: Young People Disrupt Governor’s Energy Summit

Youth climate activists on stage with western governors and Rick Perry.

via Wasatch Rising Tide

Students say the Governor’s fossil-fuel agenda sacrifices their future  

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Students and youth organizers from across Utah disrupted the Governor’s Energy Summit on Thursday. Twenty minutes into the Governor’s policy discussion with Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, the young activists’ phone alarms collectively sounded. The students unfolded large banners that read “Your Time is Up, Climate Action Now” and “Invest in Our Future, Not Climate Chaos.” Some youth held clocks with 11 years painted in the center—the time period the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says society must transition to renewable energy to prevent climate catastrophe.

Many of the summit’s keynote speakers represent the fossil fuel industry, and tickets were prohibitively expensive to the general public. The Governor’s Energy Plan through 2020 centers an all-of-the-above energy strategy, making young organizers feel that Herbert’s plan sacrifices their future.

“What Governor Herbert touts as a diverse energy portfolio is really just a dishonest attempt to continue bolstering fossil fuel economies,” said Eliza Van Dyk, Westminster student and organizer with Wasatch Rising Tide. “As young people, we feel our please for a sustainable future are being ignored or met with false solutions. Events like the Governor’s Energy Summit, which are inaccessible to most of the public, further exemplify that Herbert’s energy policy is not in the best interest of the people, but rather the fossil fuel elites who continue to sacrifice our future.”

Energy Secretary Rick Perry and western Governors plotting to sell away our climate future right before youth climate activists disrupt their shenanigans.

Young people stood in front of the stage peacefully singing for five minutes before being forced out by security. As they walked out of the room, they sang “We’re gonna rise up, rise up til it’s won.”

This action follows a wave of youth-led climate actions. In March, Utah youth participated in the international climate strike with millions of young people around the world. They also held a sit-in at Governor Herbert’s office and a die-in at the School Institutional Trust Land Administration office to demand an end to oil and gas drilling across the state. Now, youth are coordinating with a larger coalition of groups across Utah on a People’s Energy Movement—a grassroots movement for a just transition to a renewable, equitable economy.

“A just transition is the only solution to protecting our futures as young people, students, and our neighbors in rural Utah,” said Olivia Juarez, Latinx Organizer with Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. “The governors and other speakers feign ‘energy innovation’ as long as they keep fossil fuels on the table. It’s not an option when imminent climate chaos is threatening our futures, especially communities living on the front lines of industry and disaster.”

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Community Members Occupy Jordan Cove LNG Portland Office Lobby in Solidarity with Impacted Landowners

Pics via NO LNG EXPORTS Oregon. ?

via Portland Rising Tide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Contact: Dineen O’Rourke, dineen@350pdx.org, 631.830.7478

Community Members Occupy Jordan Cove LNG Portland Office Lobby in Solidarity with Impacted Landowners

[Portland, OR] On Wednesday, May 22nd, from 11AM-1PM Over seventy community members gathered inside the lobby of the Jordan Cove LNG Portland office (11 SW 5th Avenue) to demonstrate opposition to the the proposed fracked gas project in solidarity with impacted landowners in Southern Oregon.

The Jordan Cove LNG project is a proposed 229-mile pipeline and export terminal to transport fracked gas through Southern Oregon to markets in Asia. The pipeline threatens the private property rights of hundreds of landowners, tribal lands and cultural resources, and 400 rivers and streams. The highly volatile LNG export terminal is proposed in an earthquake and tsunami zone on the coast and places over 16,000 Coos Bay residents in an hazardous burn zone.

If built, the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal alone would become the largest source of climate pollution in the state of Oregon. The full annual climate emissions from this project would be equal to another 7.9 million passenger vehicles on the streets according to a report from Oil Change International.

Pics via NO LNG EXPORTS Oregon.

Inside the office lobby, video messages were screened from Southern Oregon landowners whose property would be subject to eminent domain for the proposed fracked gas pipeline. Community members also joyfully listened to anti-fossil fuel folk music, ate blueberry pie (symbolic of potentially impacted blueberry fields), and wrote comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Large banners in the lobby read, “Protect What You Love”, “No LNG”, and “No Pipelines Anywhere”.

For 15 years, rural landowners, Tribal representatives, youth, environmental advocates, and other residents have mobilized to stop Jordan Cove LNG, which was originally denied by FERC in 2016. Just a few weeks ago, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) denied a Clean Water Act permit that the project cannot move forward without. The company still has permit applications pending at the local, state, and federal levels.

“Jordan Cove has threatened us with eminent domain for over a decade,” said Francis Eatherington, landowner in Douglas County. “Though they recently moved the route off our property, it is now much closer to the house, and so we are still threatened with the effects of a gas explosion. And what will happen when a forest fire burns over the block valve that’s cited near us?”

“Jordan Cove and Pembina have been pressuring landowners to sell permanent access to our land for their dangerous export project,” said Stacey McLaughlin, a landowner impacted by the pipeline. “They have caused us years of stress about the fate of our home and livelihood. I want them to pull their permit applications and stop torturing us.”

At the rally, people called on Governor Kate Brown to deny all state permits for this unpopular and unnecessary project and expressed concerns about the impacts of recent Trump pro-pipeline executive orders.

“Jordan Cove LNG is not welcome in Southern Oregon and it’s not welcome here in Portland either.” said Audrey Caines with Portland Rising Tide. “We will continue to stand with communities in Southern Oregon to fight Jordan Cove LNG until this climate disaster is stopped for good.”

Portland Rising Tide, a local all volunteer grassroots group that takes direct action to confront the root causes of climate change, organized today’s rally. They were joined by community members with 350pdx, Sunrise Movement PDX, DSA Eco Socialists, and individuals representing their own demands to end this pipeline project.

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