Category Archives: Take Action

PROTESTS AFTER MOSIER: Criminal charges dismissed, protesters speak out

Repost from Hood River News

Another voice: ‘The greenest corner in the richest nation on earth’

By Robin Cody, August 19, 2016
A group of protesters block an oil train in Vancouver, Wash., on Sunday. Photo from Inside Climate News, courtesy of Alex Milan Tracy

The fiery wreck of an oil train at Mosier is what galvanized many of us to sit on the Burlington Northern railroad tracks in downtown Vancouver on June 18. Twenty-one protesters, ranging in age from 20 to 84, were repeatedly warned of 90 days’ jail time and $1,000 fines for criminal trespassing. And still, we sat.

Protesters got arrested and briefly jailed. Our legal status remained in limbo until recently, when criminal charges were dismissed.

Now we can talk.

The whole idea — of fracking North Dakota and shipping flammable crude oil by rail through the Columbia River Gorge — is not just a threat to people who live near the tracks. It’s also a violation of nature. It’s a big wrong turn in America’s supposed transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

It’s 2016. About climate change and its causes, the evidence is in. Time is running out. Yet many more tanker loads of climate change could come barreling through the Gorge. The proposed Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy Project would be the largest oil-by-rail terminal in the Northwest. It would more than double the daily frequency of mile-long oil trains to the Port of Vancouver.

If civil disobedience does any good, it’s in the context of many other groups and individuals speaking out. There were rallies in Hood River and Astoria, tribal action in Mosier, and the alarm expressed by city councils of Vancouver and Portland and Spokane. Columbia Riverkeepers, 350pdx, and many other organizations put the spotlight on industries that contribute to, and profit from, America’s dependence on fossil fuels.

This is about where we live. It would be fundamentally unlike us Cascadians, of all people, to cooperate with big oil’s distant profit.

The world expects the United States to take the lead with climate action. The U.S. looks to California and the Northwest. So here we are, in the greenest corner of the richest nation on Earth. If we don’t step up for the planet, where in the world will momentum take hold? And when we do take a stand, it might really make a difference.

Robin Cody of Portland is the author of “Ricochet River” and “Voyage of a Summer Sun.”
 

    In the wake of devastating flooding in Louisiana, groups urge Obama Admin to end fossil fuel auctions

    [Editor: See three articles below on Climate advocates’ call to end fossil fuel auctions…  – RS]

    Amid Flooding, Groups Call for End to ‘Unconscionable’ Fossil Fuel Auctions

    “Allowing next week’s fossil fuel auction to move forward is rubbing salt in the wounds of a region already in a state of emergency”

    By Nadia Prupis, 8/19/16 Common Dreams

    A coalition of climate and advocacy groups on Friday called on the Obama administration to cancel an upcoming fossil fuel auction as Louisiana reels from the unprecedented floods that have ravaged the state—and which rescue groups have described as the worst U.S. disaster since Superstorm Sandy.

    The organizations, including 350.org, CREDO, and Greenpeace… [continued]


    Climate activists want fossil-fuel lease auction canceled in flood-stricken Louisiana

    By Sue Sturgis, 8/19/16,  Facing South

    The historic flooding that has left at least 13 people dead and damaged some 40,000 homes in southwestern and central Louisiana this week was caused by record heavy rain, with as much as 31 inches falling in some places over the course of several days.

    While scientists are cautious about saying climate change is the cause of any single weather event, they point out that five other states…  [continued]


    In the Wake of Devastating Flooding in Louisiana, Groups Urge Obama Administration to Cancel Upcoming Gulf Drilling Lease Sale

    For Immediate Release, 8/19/16, 350.org

    350.org, CREDO, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity, MoveOn.org Civic Action, Oil Change International, Endangered Species Coalition, Bold Alliance, Friends of the Earth, Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace, Earthworks, and the No New Leases Coalition tell President Obama: The Gulf Coast is not for sale

    BATON ROUGE, La. – In the wake of unprecedented flooding in central and southwestern Louisiana, leading national environmental organizations are calling on the Obama administration to cancel an upcoming fossil fuel auction in the Gulf.

    The devastating flooding is among the most severe weather disasters since Hurricane Sandy. Across the region, tens of thousands of people have been evacuated, thousands of homes damaged, and at least eleven people killed.

    Next Wednesday, on August 24th, the Obama administration is planning to sell off an area the size of Virginia…  [continued]

      Petition: Ban Oil Trains For Good

      Repost from Huffington Post

      Ban Oil Trains For Good

      By Marc Yaggi, Executive Director, Waterkeeper Alliance, 08/11/2016 03:30 pm ET
      2016-08-08-1470664391-409844-13308293_10154299311634165_7880276907808028024_o.jpg
      Oil train derailment in Mosier, Oregon in June 2016. Photo credit: Columbia Riverkeeper

      Just a little over two months ago, a disastrous oil train derailment occurred in Mosier, Oregon, spilling 47,000 gallons of Bakken crude oil from North Dakota. The fallout from that accident has seen the entire region debating whether transporting this hazardous crude oil by rail through local communities and along our nation’s rivers is worth the risk. It’s time for the debate to close, and for all sides to realize the hard truth: oil trains like the one that derailed in Mosier pose an immediate threat to communities around the country, and it is time we demand immediate action.

      Waterkeeper Alliance’s report, Deadly Crossing: Neglected Bridges & Exploding Oil Trains, written in partnership with STAND and Hudson Riverkeeper, showed that many of the bridges these oil trains pass over show signs of neglect and disrepair. The report also highlighted that the public cannot access any meaningful information regarding the safety of rail bridges in their community. In response to these concerns, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) now has a way for local officials to request public bridge inspections. This is a small victory, but the threat of these oil trains still lingers in communities across the country, and the only true solution is to ban these trains altogether.

      No community wants a potentially lethal oil train speeding past their schools, behind their homes, or near their precious water sources. We need to stand together to demand a complete ban on oil trains. Please join this petition to call on the Department of Transportation to recognize that oil trains are inherently unsafe for our communities and waterways, and to use all available authority to stop oil train traffic throughout the country.