Oil Check Washington

How to channel that Earth Day energy, actions Northwesterners need to know about

April 23 - Yesterday people across the country took a moment to celebrate the world and reflect on all we love about this Pale Blue Dot. Falling on a Wednesday, I doubt too many of you scaled Mt. Baker or kayaked the Deschutes, or even cast out a line on the Columbia. But Earth Day has evolved into a time when we can all reflect on our appreciation and enjoyment of nature, something that is far too often neglected, even if it means spending time in the park or just looking up at the stars. In contract to today the first Earth Day was a defiant political protest against environmental destruction. It was a grassroots organized movement to protect the places we love and the people that call them home. In that spirit, Oil Check has a list of actions that folks across the Northwest can take part in to make a positive difference in the days and weeks to come.

Seattle –

If you haven’t heard yet, Shell is planning on storing its flagship Arctic oil-drilling rig at the Port of Seattle. The Port’s decision to force the city to play an integral roll in the degradation of one of the most fragile eco-systems on Earth has the Emerald City in an absolute up roar. Crosscut on Monday compared the preparation to the fateful WTO protests that rocked the city in 1999.

There are a host of actions people can take ranging in severity and participation level against Shell.

This Sunday, April 26 at 2:00 PM in Myrtle Edwards Park, there will be a protest rally to voice opposition to Shell’s Arctic presence in Seattle. The organizers want it to be inclusive and peaceful, so keep it classy Seattle.

1,400 have already signed up RSVP here

Saturday May 16-18th: local, regional and even international organizations are joining together for a “Festival of Resistance” to protest Shell.

May 16th folks are taking to the Sound to express their disgust with Shell’s Arctic drilling plans. “Kayaktivists” (boativists, canoetivists didn’t quite have the same ring to it) will be in the water protesting (again peacefully) in all manner of watercraft. Hundreds have already attended trainings and thousands are expected to be in Elliot Bay.

May 18th will be a full day of actions at Terminal 5 (right next to the West Seattle Bridge for you locals).

Go here to learn more about both.


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Port of Seattle public comment period

SW Washington -

Vancouver, Longview, and Port Westward could all soon become massive hubs for oil, coal and gas. The NuStar oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver is less talked about than the larger Tesoro-Savage facility (also at the port) but could still house 50,000 barrels of domestic crude oil and miles of oil trains rumbling through our towns everyday.

You can read more about the proposal here. Public comments on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this project are open until May 4th at 4:00PM. You can send comments to:

Senior Planner Jon Wagner at [email protected].

Public Port of Vancouver meetings are held every other Tuesday at 9:30 AM. They receive public comment that can influence the scope and depth of impact assessment for both the NuStar terminal as well as the Tesoro/Savage project. Lets let them know that we won't allow our neck of the woods to become the last stop on the fossil fuel super highway.


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Portland opposition to Pembina propane terminal

Portland –

Flying a bit under the radar is the proposed Pembina Propane Terminal in the heart of the Portland. In a city that touts its self one of the most sustainable in the world, mile-long propane trains would come down from fracked gas fields in Western Canada’s Sedimentary Basin. The project would bring in 80,000 barrels-a-day supplying 2-3 tanker ships-a-month.

A buffer zone created for the ships carrying the propane could shut down recreation in large sections of the river anywhere from 4-12 days a month. The facility could, by its self, raise global emissions .01%, not to mention the extraction and transportation emissions. Traffic impacts through the city could be massive. Most important, locals have expressed grave concerns about the same type of disasters we've seen from crude oil trains. You can read all about potential impacts in the Columbia Riverkeeper’s in depth PDF.

Portland’s City Council plans on reviewing the proposal Thursday April 30th. Mark your calendars PDX because opposition is going to pack the house. This week Portlanders staged a direct actions at the commission's first meeting. You can make your voice heard by calling any of the council members:

Commissioner Nick Fish: 503-823-3589

Commissioner Amanda Fritz: 503-823-3008

Commissioner Steve Novick: 503-823-4682

Commissioner Dan Saltzman: 503-823-415


As the old mantra goes "Earth Day should be everyday" and if you still have that green fire running through your veins from yesterday, there are plenty of options to channel it.

Nick Abraham - editor and lead contributor of Oil Check Northwest

[email protected]

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