Guardian: Young climate activists chain selves to Washington pier amid pipeline delivery

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)

cross-posted from the Guardian 

Young climate activists chain selves to Washington pier amid pipeline delivery

Protest comes amid effort to disrupt 700-mile Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Young activists interrupted the delivery of a controversial pipeline to a port in southern Washington at daybreak on Tuesday, once again taking the lead in the climate fight.

Tuesday’s protest by Portland Rising Tide was part of a continuing effort to disrupt the opening of project that expands a pipeline running from Edmonton, Alberta, to the coast of British Columbia and would open export markets to hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil from the Alberta tar sands.

Climbers flanked by kayaks chained themselves to a pier on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington, intending to intercept the delivery of pipe manufactured in India for the project.

The group of protesters included 22-year-old Kiran Oommen, a plaintiff in the landmark lawsuit Juliana v the US, which takes aim at the American government’s complicity in promoting a fossil fuel energy system and other practices that facilitate the climate crisis.

Oommen, who is joined by 20 other young plaintiffs in the litigation, was among those who chained himself to a dock. By 8am, he and other activists were being threatened with arrest as an arriving bulk carrier sounded its foghorn and a growing crowd of stalled workers gathered on the pier, one shouting: “Trump! Four more years!”

Before climbing a ladder and chaining himself to the pier, Oommen said past action to lobby, to vote and to use the courts to compel action on climate change had been unsuccessful so far.

“The point that my generation is at, we don’t have time to wait for systems that haven’t worked for decades,” he said.

The linking of a Juliana plaintiff with direct action against fossil fuel infrastructure signifies more than individual frustration with inaction on climate. It denotes the rising sense of urgency among young people to remedy a crisis that afflicts them all.

“I fear for my future. It’s zero hour and I can’t watch the Earth die around me. I don’t want to be 30 and telling my kids that I didn’t do anything,” said Lydia Stolt, who risked a college scholarship to be among those locked to the pier.

Oommen’s four-year-old court case been the subject of repeated, and unusually aggressive, emergency petitions by the federal government intended to halt the suit, which has missed three trial dates so far.

“Part of why I’m here is to just give them a little reminder that they can play with us in the system, but we don’t have to stay in the system to have our voices heard,” Oommen said.

Tuesday’s action took aim at the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, a 1,150km (about 700-mile) Canadian project that will boost the capacity of oil transport from the Alberta tar sands to the coast of British Columbia.

The $7.4bn expansion is projected to triple the 300,000 barrels of oil currently transported from Edmonton and would carry heavier oils with higher potential to emit greenhouse gas, making it what many activists consider a potential climate tipping point.

The project was initially proposed by Kinder Morgan in 2012, and the Canadian government approved it, but it was delayed by opposition from First Nations and environmental groups and lawsuits from provincial and municipal governments in Canada. The project was acquired by the Canadian government, which continues to fund the expansion, in summer 2018.

The action by Portland Rising Tide, the local affiliate of the North American direct action group, was the culmination of an international effort to track shipments of the pipe from India through the US into Canada. Greenpeace provided technical assistance, while support from the north came from Mosquito Fleet, an oil and gas direct action group, and First Nations peoples who oppose the pipeline.

Cedar George-Parker, 22, a member of the Tulalip and Tsleil Waututh tribes, said First Nations communities had staunchly opposed the pipeline, which crosses indigenous lands.

He said a study had determined a spill could sicken 1 million people within 24 hours. He also noted potential impacts on the salmon in the Fraser River watershed and orcas in the Salish Sea from increased tanker traffic.

“In Tulalip, the orca is on the crescent [flag], so it’s who they are,” George-Parker said. “We have to do something to save them. They can’t speak English … they can’t go to the legislative building.

Port of Vancouver, WA: Activists Blockade Shipment of Tar Sands Pipeline

pic via Alex Milan Tracy

cross-posted from Portland Rising Tide

For Immediate Release: November 5 2019

Contact: Kelsey Baker, 415.599.6672, pdxnopipelines@protonmail.com

Photos Available Here.

BREAKING: Activists Blockade Shipment of Tar Sands Pipeline

 Business at the Port of Vancouver Disrupted to Stop Import of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) Infrastructure

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, five 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.

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.”

pic via Alex Milan Tracy

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/eet.us/

West Virginia: “STOP MTR” Banner Deployed on Mining Site

pic via Appalachians Against Pipelines

cross-posted from Appalachians Against Pipelines and RAMPS Campaign

This week, folks with Appalachians Against Pipelines and Ramps Campaign deployed a STOP MTR banner adjacent to an active mountaintop removal coal mine. This drone footage shows the destruction of a mountain in Boone County, WV.

See drone footage here.

Trish McLawhorn, who was on site at the action, is a citizen monitor for Mountain Valley Watch, Preserve Bent Mountain, and POWHR Coalition (Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights). “I am someone who strives to further educate and inform communities about, while actively opposing, environmentally destructive projects such as the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines,” Trish explained. “Those projects are currently causing irreparable harm and devastation to endangered species, as well as the desecration of stolen lands across territories now referred to as West Virginia and Virginia.

“As such, it was especially heartbreaking to visit, learn about, and bear witness to first hand mountaintop removal operations currently underway and happening for years in Appalachia. These forced alterations of the land to the detriment of the wild, precipitation cycles, and those who inhabit the valley below, are astounding and should never be exacted upon these beloved mountains. The implications of such mining processes are profound, forever altering the flow of water and vital functions of the ecological systems in place.

“The disruption of the natural world in this manner, as well as all other violent methods of fracturing our foundations, only strengthen my resolve and should compel every one of us, ever more deeply, to defend all that we love in Appalachia and beyond.

pic via Appalachians Against Pipelines

“Whether we are residing in communities fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, or mountaintop removal coal mining, many are finding ways to continue to reach out, support one another, educate ourselves, and inform those around us about how these struggles are all connected. I encourage folks to become involved, both locally and in areas outside of impacted blast and incineration zones. We must continue our work to defend, support, and protect life, especially those most vulnerable, regardless of whether we are directly or indirectly impacted.

“These are the places we have called home for generations. Threats to our collective survival are truly what we are up against … this is what we have ALWAYS been up against! We must continue fighting to protect these spaces for generations to come, and we must honor our ancestors with action. We must never back down!”

Clyde Bowe, a lifelong resident of the Coal River Valley, remembers hunting and root digging on White Oak for decades before it was stripped: “They shouldn’t be stripping that mountain like that. That’s bullshit. I’ve lived here my whole friggin’ life. You can’t go up there and root dig anymore, or see live trees, ‘cause they’ve stripped it. They should’ve left it the hell alone, the way I see it.

“They’ve gotten rid of all the game and killed everything off — that used to be good hunting up there. They should leave what’s there the hell alone, and shouldn’t continue. We should make them stop, is the way I see it.”

A note on scale — the banner shown in the beginning of this video looks tiny compared to the massive machines on the mine site. But in reality, the total length of the banner is over 80 feet and is being held by 14 people. The extent of the devastation on the mountain is difficult to comprehend.

 

New York: Resist the Cricket Valley Fracked Gas Power Plant on Nov. 16

Cross-posted from Resist CVE

On Saturday, November 16, at 11am, help shut down the largest climate destruction site in the Northeast: Cricket Valley fracked gas plant in Dutchess Co., NY. Families & #ClimateStrike youth encouraged to attend as well as friends who would like to participate in non-violent and creative escalation.

Who is most at risk?

Schaghticoke Indigenous Nation, Dutchess Co. organic farms, three adjacent children’s schools, and the ecosystem of Harlem Valley’s The Great Swamp Watershed, the largest freshwater wetlands in New York, and surrounded by medicinal plants.

Background: 

The Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVE) is a 1,100 megawatt fracked gas plant under construction in Dover/Wingdale, New York. It would receive out-of-state fracked gas through the Iroquois Gas Transmission System, a pipeline project co-owned by TransCanada and the Virginia-based fossil fuel bully Dominion Resources. Advanced Power, a Switzerland-based private energy infrastructure company, would own and operate the plant. The plant aims to begin operations in 2020, but WE are going to stop it. The company wants to perform “shakedowns” or testing of the turbines using diesel fuel. We won’t let them shake us down.

Our Strategy:

Governor Cuomo has the power to stop this plant. The plant was approved nearly a decade ago, based on out-of-date science, and without genuine community input. The plant is also on very shaky financial legs, and will foot us with the bill through our electric rates, as well as endure decades of pollution that Cuomo has committed to halting through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. His father, former Governor Mario Cuomo halted dirty Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant even though the building was complete. Governor Cuomo can follow his father’s legacy, listen to climate science, and follow our climate law… or will the largest fracked gas power plant in the northeast U.S. be Governor Cuomo’s Climate Legacy?

Our Plan: 

Our coalition of community and advocacy groups across New York are hosting three orientation trainings to learn more, and help plan! Orientation trainings = learn history + where we are, build our community relationships, pick a role!


Sign the pledge to get more information on the following Planning Orientations:

*Saturday, October 19 in Millerton, NY 10am-2pm

*Sunday, October 20 in Kingston, NY 12pm-4pm

*Sunday, October 27 in NYC 12pm-4pm