21 Oregonians Arrested in Governor Brown’s Salem Office for Demanding She Oppose Jordan Cove LNG

image courtesy Southern Oregon Rising Tide

cross-posted from Southern Oregon Rising Tide

 21 Oregonians Arrested in Governor Brown’s Salem Office for Demanding She Oppose Jordan Cove LNG

SALEM, OR – After a nine-hour peaceful sit-in and two informal meetings with Governor Brown, 21 Oregonians were arrested in her office after the Governor refused to take a public stance against the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and fracked gas pipeline. Despite heartfelt testimony from impacted landowners, tribal members, youth, and dozens of others, the Governor twice refused to take a public stance against what would become the largest climate polluter in the state.

One of those arrested standing up for their clean water and a healthy climate was Sandy Lyons, an impacted landowner in Days Creek, Oregon. In a statement she said:

“My husband and I have lived on our ranch for the past 29 years working extremely hard to create and live our dream. We raised our son here teaching him to respect the land, its people and its incredible natural resources. For 15 of those years we have been fighting the proposed gas pipeline which a fossil fuel corporation has chosen our land to cross and seize it from us by eminent domain. I am here today because we have tried every possible way to be heard and want somehow to gain the Governor’s attention to how wrong this is and the negative ways in which it will permanently scar us and our land.”

Another of the 21 arrestees was Emma Marris, an environmental writer from Klamath Falls:

“I live in Klamath County and this is a terrible deal for us. We would bear all the environmental and safety risk so others could profit. Southern Oregon is not a sacrifice zone. All Oregonians should be demanding this project be stopped. I could not look my children in the eyes unless I took this stand today.”

image courtesy Southern Oregon Rising Tide

Inside the sit-in people sang songs, shared stories from over 15 years of fighting the Jordan Cove LNG project, and connected over community solutions to the climate crisis. People inside the room applauded the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for their denial of the 401 Clean Water Act permit in May and acknowledged Governor Brown’s pushback against the Trump administration’s attack of that law.

However, community members participating in the sit-in reiterated many times throughout the day that real climate leadership means standing up against the fossil fuel industry and that they would stay until Governor Brown publicly opposed Jordan Cove LNG. This comes at an especially critical moment with the Federal Government making a decision on the project this February.

“If Governor Brown cares about climate change as much as she claims to, there’s no reason she shouldn’t oppose Jordan Cove LNG today. Governors in New York and Washington have come out publicly against similar fracked gas projects this year,” said Owen Walker with Southern Oregon Rising Tide. “It’s time for Governor Brown to be a climate leader by opposing this project.”

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Southern Oregon Rising Tide is dedicated to promoting community-based solutions to the climate crisis and taking direct action to confront the root causes of climate change. We are based in the mountains and rivers of rural Southern Oregon, with most of our members living on stolen Takelma land.

New Yorkers Dramatically Shut Down Massive Fracked Gas Power Plant

Photos Erik McGregor

Contact: Jess Mullen, 215-303-7468 iheartupstateny@gmail.com
Lee Ziesche, 954-415-6228 leeziesche@gmail.com

New Yorkers Dramatically Shut Down Massive Fracked Gas Power Plant 

Citing the plant’s large contribution to climate change and local air pollution, they are calling on Governor Cuomo to shut down the Cricket Valley plant for good.

Photos Erik McGregor
Link to livestream: HERE
Link to video of farmer on top of smokestack: HERE

Donate to the legal fund HERE.

Wingdale, New York – This morning impacted residents and supporters from across the Northeast, including local farmers, used a tractor blockade and climbed a 275ft tall smokestack to halt construction of the Cricket Valley fracked gas power plant.

Photos Erik McGregor

“Our valley has a lot of important resources, everything from our children, an elementary, middle and high school, to some of the largest freshwater deposits in New York State and our local farms, all which need clean air to survive and thrive,” said local farmer Ben Schwartz and one of the four people who climbed the smokestack. 

Construction of the 1,100 megawatt fracked gas power plant, one of the largest in the Northeast, is nearing completion and once up and running would cover the local community in 279 tons of nitrogen oxides, 570 tons of carbon monoxide, and more than 60 tons of sulfuric acid pollution. Local residents are particularly concerned that its location in the Harlem Valley, a narrow north-south corridor, will engulf the region with pollution. It will also emit 6 million tons of greenhouse gasses.

“New York State has taken a climate leadership position via the CLCPA by mandating that New York State reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2040. But right now the CLCPA is just a piece of paper, waiting to be turned into reality,” said Bill Kish, Stop Cricket Valley. “Bringing new fossil fuel plants like Cricket Valley online now makes no sense and only sets New York further back, reducing the likelihood that we’ll meet our ambitious goals while damaging our community’s health and our already stressed ecosystems.”

The plant is located close to the Connecticut border and residents there are also very concerned about the fracked gas pollution. The Connecticut residents had no say in the approval of the plant and now are forced to monitor their own air quality.

Photos Erik McGregor

“As a Connecticut resident, I am very upset about Cricket Valley Energy Center. The pollutants released in the air will travel into New Milford and be trapped due to topography,” said Cindy Davis, Western Connecticut Clean Air Action. “The pollutants released contain detrimental chemicals contributing to asthma, birth defects and other health problems. The plant was already approved and in construction when Connecticut residents learned about the plant.”

The shutdown was followed by a family friendly rally calling on Governor Cuomo to shut the plant down for good.

This is the perfect opportunity for Governor Cuomo to be a true climate hero. Cricket Valley was proposed before the science on fracking and the environment was clear,” said Jess Mullen, Coordinator of New Paltz Climate Action Coalition. “However, it’s clear now. With the recent Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, Cuomo has voiced desire to take the climate emergency seriously. Shutting down Cricket Valley will be the determining factor of the legacy he will leave.”

Climbers were still in the stacks as of 2:30pm. Updates on number of arrests will be sent as they come in.

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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/