Oil Check Washington

These 20 lobbyists, politicians, communicators and industry representatives are actively working to prop up polluters up and down the west coast.

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The Lummi’s defiant stand for their treaty and sovereignty was a major victory, apart of a much larger struggle. New coal export projects are still slated for Oakland, CA, British Columbia and Longview, WA. Decisions over these and energy projects the world over will have global consequences but will be decided by individual communities.

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Now we have to endure every majestic trot around the bases reminded that oil trains put every M’s fan (and people across the Northwest) at risk of being caught in a different kind of BNSF BLAST.

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There are a total of 5 counties, 9 major organizations and 31 cities that have officially voiced concern or outright opposition to oil trains in their communities. With groups as wide ranging as the Washington State Council of Firefighters to the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and cities from Spokane and Aberdeen to Bellingham and Hood River (basically anywhere the trains would run) its clear how diverse and widespread opposition is in both states.

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For a company trying to win approval for a terminal that will bring several mile-long oil trains-a-day across the state, this is a major blow. For the public it'll be that much more difficult to trust a company that wants to ship explosive cargo but can't be bothered to check their facts.

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With groups from the Washington State Council of Firefighters to the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and cities from Spokane to Aberdeen to Bellingham its clear how diverse and widespread opposition is in the Evergreen State.

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Many have questioned Riverside’s intensions and even see the biofuels portion as a Trojan Horse to simply building new oil capacity. For local advocates yesterday’s announcement confirmed these suspicions.

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They’ve laid out an alternative to a clean energy future, a Dirty Power Plan, for the Northwest. You won’t see them announcing it from podiums or siting down with Katie Couric to talk it over. But make no mistake the fossil fuel industry has a plan for our corner of the world.

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This type of scorched earth diplomacy is usually reserved for national level politics. But as the West Coast continues to drive towards a fossil fuel free future, oil interests are becoming more and more desperate to keep us locked to the economy of the past. Unless legislators stand up to blatant meddling, we can expect things to keep spirally into inaction.

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While it is comforting to know that if a spill or explosion occurs the producers and transporters will actually talk to each other, it does not address the underlying issue. Oil is being transported by rail at levels we have never seen and far too many of those trains are exploding.

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With resistance at a fever pitch and their financial prospects in shambles, coal’s future looks like the end of a bad horror movie.

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Shell’s schemes have the region in an uproar, so now is a good time to explore the oil company’s well documented record of interfering in Washington’s politics.

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This begins what will be a long day of Shell related affairs for the Port.

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if you still have that green fire running through your veins from yesterday, there are plenty of options to channel it.

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At every end of the coal line, from mine to train to terminal, companies are facing fierce opposition, poor market prospects and investors jumping ship.

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Our signatures were on the agreement with BNSF, so were theirs. So was the United States. But despite all that, BNSF began running its Bakken oil trains across the reservation without asking, and without even telling us.

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Northwest first responders are justifiably worried. In Washington, Firefighters have expressed grave concerns. They want to know where these trains are, how much oil they are bringing in and the risks shippers anticipate. Unfortunately the railroads, don’t particularly feel like telling them anything.

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This is a daunting future to look at, and can seem hopeless and even leave us cynical at times. But if 150 tribal leaders, county executives and representatives can come together and agree this is a bad idea, I’m feeling pretty good about our chances.

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early projections for China’s coal needs now look more like a siren song; giving false hope to an industry frantically searching for a way to survive.

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Polluting fossil fuel interests are anything but excited about the prospect of paying for the free lunch they’re getting now. They are accustomed to getting their way, and they spend millions each election cycle specifically influence the state’s political process.

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As the story around the Western State Petroleum’s astroturf campaigns in the West gained momentum, WSPA’s president Catherine Reheis-Boyd pushed back claiming that their goal was to bring forward unheard voices in the climate debate.

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Natural Resources Defense Council’s Switchboard blog breaks it down: “The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) – whose members include Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips, BP, and others – was caught red-handed last week when a leaked internal presentation revealed a coordinated campaign to stomp out climate and clean energy progress in California, Oregon and Washington by propping up over 15 front groups that purport to represent the views of concerned citizens and the broader business community.”

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The same day Governor Jay Inslee rolled out his plan to meet Washington’s carbon reduction limits, a new group popped up on the radar. Despite their name “Washington Climate Collaborative”, this isn’t a group excited about supporting the Governor’s plan. Instead it’s more of the same. When you look at the supporters list, despite the lovely background of apples a few names jump out: Western State Petroleum Association for one. The Northwest Gas Association for another. When you look at their plan, despite the pro-environmental values they espouse, you realize that there’s no there there. No clear plan for meeting Washington’s climate limits. Guess it’s time for WSPA to update the slide deck – one more Astroturf group is launched.

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