Friday, March 2, 2018

Offshore Drilling Open House



stand up to oil
Join us on Monday, March 5th to stand strong against offshore drilling and protect our state’s vital coastal economies and ecosystems. 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is hosting Public Meetings across the country in an open house format. BOEM will NOT be accepting oral public comment at the only open house in Washington State, March 5th in Olympia. That’s why we’re having a People’s Hearing where testimony can be given, taken down by a stenographer, and submitted as official comments.

What: Public Meeting about Offshore Drilling and People’s Hearing
Where: Hotel RL Olympia by Red Lion, 2300 Evergreen Park Dr SW
When: Monday, March 5, 1:30 – 7:30 pm
1:30-2:00 Keynote Speakers 
2:00-7:30 People’s Hearing 
3:00-7:00 BOEM Open House
5:00-6:00 Dinner





Go here for carpool signup information: https://www.groupcarpool.com/t/4ix2jf

Thursday, January 11, 2018

CANCELLED!! Defend Our Coast From Offshore Drilling

The event tomorrow has been cancelled by the venue, Landmark Catering & Convention Center.
We hope to reschedule soon.
The press conference will continue on Monday from 1-2pm, but due to the venue cancellation, there will not be room for public attendance. Please tune in to watch the press conference via the livestream here.
Please submit your comments on line to BOEM:
You can still leave your comment online util March 9: at https://www.boem.gov/National-Program-Comment/

Previous post:
Cross-posted from our friends at Surfrider.
JANUARY 11, 2018

Trump Administration Announces Plans To Open Washington Coast To Offshore Drilling, It’s Time to #DefendOurCoast

Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to expand offshore drilling on over 90% of the Outer Continental Shelf along America’s coastline, including our wild and rugged Washington Coast. This new drilling puts our nation’s coastal communities, beaches, surf breaks, and marine ecosystems at risk of a catastrophic oil spill. Included in this post are an array of actions that can be taken in the near future to speak up and help #DefendOurCoast.

Don’t let this be the view of the Washington Coast
The Proposed Offshore Oil & Gas Leasing Program for 2019 – 2024 would open thousands of miles of U.S. coastline to oil drilling, including regions such as the Atlantic and Pacific that have been protected for decades from this dangerous practice. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has opened a 60-day comment period for citizens to provide feedback on the proposal, and the agency is also planning public hearings in affected communities in the coming weeks, there will be ONLY ONE hearing in Washington state.
February 5   Tacoma, WA
Tacoma’s Landmark Catering and Convention Center
47 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402
This is part of the largest assault on our ocean in American history. Make your voice heard and keep this disastrous new exploration from harming our coastlines. Below are 5 easy ways to plug in and make a difference:
  1. Contact Your Federal Representative & Senators via our Action Alert
  2. Attend the Offshore Drilling Rally Feb 5th in Tacoma
  3. Submit Public Comments on the Plan via BOEM Public Comment by March 9th (See Fact sheet and sample letter)
  4. Spread the word and get active with your local Surfrider Chapter
  5. Download the Oil Rig picture below and share via your social media
West Coast Leaders Speak Up To Defend Our Coasts: Washington Governor Jay Inslee, California Governor Jerry Brown and Oregon Governor Kate Brown recently issued this joint statement following the announcement that the U.S. Department of Interior would seek to open the Pacific Coast to oil and gas offshore drilling for the first time in decades:
“This political decision to open the magnificent and beautiful Pacific Coast waters to oil and gas drilling flies in the face of decades of strong opposition on the part of Washington, Oregon and California – from Republicans and Democrats alike.
“They’ve chosen to forget the utter devastation of past offshore oil spills to wildlife and to the fishing, recreation and tourism industries in our states. They’ve chosen to ignore the science that tells us our climate is changing and we must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. But we won’t forget history or ignore science.
“For more than 30 years, our shared coastline has been protected from further federal drilling and we’ll do whatever it takes to stop this reckless, short-sighted action.”
Senator Maria Cantwell: “The Trump Administration’s proposal to allow drilling off the coast in the Pacific region, despite the vocal opposition of local communities and every west coast Senator, represents an outrageous attack on our coastal economies, culture, and environment. Washingtonians want to keep thriving on the coast and I will fight to protect their jobs, communities, and environment.”
SW Washington Representative Jamie Herrera-Beutler“I don’t support offshore oil & gas exploration in states that don’t want it & WA’s citizens have never indicated any desire to have oil and gas activity off their coast.” 
The Washington Coast is a Special Place Worthy of Protection
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Ecology, and Department of Natural Resources pulled together an impressive letter that was sent to BOEM last August in opposition to offshore drilling and clearly articulating all of the important uses and resources that would be reasonably foreseeable to be effected by oil and gas drilling.
Apparently Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke didn’t get Washington’s memo… as yesterday it was announced that Florida would be removed from consideration for drilling, Zinke said, due to the importance of tourism to the state. Maybe he’d also be interested in taking a look at the Washington Coast Recreational Use Study which demonstrated that in 2014 Washington’s residents spent nearly a half of billion dollars on coastal tourism and recreation.
The Surfrider Foundation is pleased that Secretary Zinke has recognized that Florida’s coasts are heavily reliant on tourism and that its communities, businesses, and state leaders are strongly opposed to offshore drilling. Hundreds of local communities and state leaders across the country have been loud and clear in opposition of new offshore drilling for the same reasons. We call on the Secretary to listen to the voices from all U.S. states on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, which are heavily dependent on coastal tourism, and withdraw his destructive oil drilling plan.  
Is there a method to this madness? Danny Westneat posed that question in an article in the Seattle Times, highlighting the fact that “in Washington, where it’s believed there are some oil and gas deposits, the general area of drilling overlaps in large part with the 4,000-square-mile Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary — where oil drilling currently is barred.”

Friday, October 13, 2017

Weekend Updates & Actions

Things to Click!

Tesoro Anacortes Shoreline Permit Public Hearing
The proposed project includes additions and upgrades to the Tesoro Anacortes refinery’s existing facility in order to produce 15,000 barrels per day of mixed xylenes and to supply cleaner local transportation fuels. Mixed xylene is a compound found in gasoline, and is used to make clothing, plastics and other synthetic products. Details on these facility additions and upgrades are included on the project page of this website.
Written testimony must be received by Skagit County PDS no later than 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 1, 2017
More Details

Tacoma Tideflats Fossil Fuel Pause
Please send a comment to the Tacoma City Council, thanking it for “pausing” Fossil Fuel projects (including the proposed LNG Terminal), in order to study the issues more.
In addition to recruiting people to attend the public hearing in Tacoma next Tuesday October 17 at 5:30 pm, we need comments into the City Council.
Please submit comments to: cityclerk@cityoftacoma.org by 1 pm on Tuesday October 17.

Say NO to Coal Mining in Washington

PCCC proposes to excavate 737,000 short tons of coal reserves from 2 open pit mines at the John Henry No. 1 Coal Minesite. If this project moves forward, it will be the first coal mine to start operating in Washington State since the TransAlta open-pit coal mine near Centralia ceased operations in 2006.

Learn to write an effective Letter to the Editor
How can your passion for science and your local newspaper help influence your members of Congress? With the right letter to the editor on the latest attacks on science, you can make your words go further.
Please join the Union of Concerned Scientists for a Science Champions training on how to write an effective letter to the editor and get it printed in your local paper.
Date: Wednesday, October 25
Time: 7:30–8:15 p.m. EDT (4:30–5:15 p.m. PDT)

Hold a Ballot Party with your friends
Did you miss the HT Hold a Ballot Party podcast from the Grassroots 101 Sessions on Monday? You can still watch it at this link, and you don't need to be on FB. Look under their Videos tab for more Grassroots 101 workshops.

Things to Go To!

Town Hall with Governor Inslee
We are hoping there will be one locally, or even in Olympia.
Auburn –
Date: Thursday, October 12th, 2017
Time1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Location: Lindbloom Student Union Building | 12401 SE 302th Street, Auburn, WA 98092

Bellevue –
Date: Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Time: 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm
Location: Carlson Theatre, Bellevue Community College | 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, Bellevue 98007

Seattle –
Date: Wednesday, October 25th, 2017
Time: 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
Location: University of Washington | Room location TBD

 Totem Pole Journey 2017
Kwel’Hoy, We Draw the Line!

The totem pole, created by Master Carver Jewell James of the Lummi Nation House of Tears carvers, will remind us of our place within nature, our responsibility to future generations, and our connections to each other and to our communities.
unnamed (3).jpg
                                                    Photo credit: Paul K. Anderson
Join the Totem Pole Journey
Tacoma, WA
When: Sunday, October 15, 6:30 - 8:00 pm (6:00 blessing meet the totem pole travelers and blessing)
Where: Foss Waterway Seaport (705 Doc St, Tacoma, 98402)
Vancouver, WA
When: Monday, October 16, 6:30 - 8:00 pm (6:00 blessing meet the totem pole travelers and blessing)
Where: Vancouver Community Library (901 C St, Vancouver, 98660)
Portland, OR
When: Tuesday, October 17, 6:30-8:00 pm (6:00 blessing meet the totem pole travelers and blessing)
Where: Ecotrust building, 721 NW 9th Ave. Ste. 200, Portland, Oregon 97206
Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.<wbr>com/events/372933196474425/

* you don't need to be "on" FB to view these​

Alliance for Jobs & Clean Energy 
Olympia Kickoff on October 24th
We are excited to announce that Governor Inslee and Beth Doglio are going to speak at our Olympia Kickoff on October 24th

When: October 24th 7 PM
Where: The Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St NW, Olympia, WA, 98501

Public hearing on Millennium’s 
Shorelines permits & Community Appreciation Dinner Party 
(if you’ve attended a rally, signed a petition, or volunteered at a “no coal” event, this party is for YOU!)
Thursday, November 2, 2017. Arrive by noon for the rally! Testimony begins at 1:00 pm and the community appreciation party from 5:00-7:00 pm.
Cowlitz County Conference Center1900 7th Ave SW, Longview, WA 98632. The community appreciation dinner party will be held in the Power Past Coal hospitality suite at the conference center.
Remember to wear red and RSVP early!
We are working on carpool plans from 
Grays Harbor-- Stay tuned!

Draft plan to address ocean shoreline uses
November 7, Aberdeen, 6 p.m.  – Grays Harbor College, Manspeaker Building Room 2250, 
1620 Edward P. Smith Dr.
The state’s proposed marine spatial plan would establish a process for coordinating among local and tribal governments, as well as with state and federal agencies to ensure interest groups and the public have opportunities to weigh on future projects.

The draft plan is now out for public review and comment. The state worked closely with local and tribal governments, other state agencies, the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council, environmental and planning groups, the private sector and the public to develop the plan.

Public comments for the draft marine spatial plan and related EIS are due to Ecology by Tuesday, Dec. 12. They can be submitted online or by mail to: Jennifer Hennessey, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

Things to Read!

Potash Updates
From KXRO Radio:
According to BHP, they are valuing the proposed project at around $440 million in investment. Based on those calculations, the fee would sit at $445,000.
“BHP understands the fee is calculated starting with a base, $7,000 for the first $2 million, with an incremental $1,000 increase for each $1 million of project value over $2 million with no upper limit.”

Shay said in his talks with BHP, the company said the $440 million total listed in the permit application included project costs that should not have been used in the permit application. Shay said BHP plans to get him something in writing requesting that the city consider a lower project cost for the permit evaluation.
“We expect to receive payment for the outside permit review by Oct. 17,” said Shay. “Once this happens, we will begin review of the application as their request to modify our fee structure is considered by the City Council.”

You can view the 1,087-page document for the first permit application on the Potash Export Facility here (be patient waiting for it to open)  http://fogh.org/doc/BHP-City-submittal.Sept%202017.pdf

48 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump 


Boom and Busted: Herring Collapse in Prince William Sound

-and-


Friday, September 1, 2017

Off The Table!

Now, the City of Hoquiam needs to revoke the Crude Oil permits, and ensure Crude Oil will never be shipped from Grays Harbor.

Port officials: Crude oil no longer in plans


The Port of Grays Harbor gave an annual report to the Ocean Shores City Council on Monday night and the issue of shipping crude oil by rail and sea was “off the table” for the first time in four years.
Port officials said that both pending crude oil proposals by current Port tenants Contanda Grays Harbor (formerly Westway Terminals) and REG (formerly Imperium Renewables) have been abandoned and the companies are seeking to ship other products instead.
“Both Contanda and REG have taken crude oil off the lists of commodities that they handle, so there are no longer any crude oil projects in Grays Harbor,” said Kayla Dunlap, the Port’s public affairs manager.
REG and Contanda “have both stepped back, stepped away from doing crude and are pursuing other directions for their sites, and those are the only two that were left,” added Port General Manager Gary Nelson. “I think you can say that crude oil is no longer on the table for either company.”
The city of Ocean Shores, mayor and council had been on record officially opposing the shipping of crude oil on the grounds of potential environmental catastrophe should a spill occur off the coast or along rail lines.
The Port’s marine terminals and Harbor navigation services provide about 80 percent of the public agency’s annual operating revenues, projected to be about $25 million in 2017. The Port also handles the operation at the Satsop Business Park.
This year, it is expected that there will be 100 vessel calls to the Port, which is in keeping with a steady increase over the normal of 20-40 vessel calls of a decade ago, Dunlap said.
“That’s a good problem to have,” she said.
The Port is seeking to expand as well, expressing interest in the former pontoon-building site owned and used by the Washington Department of Transportation to build the pontoons in the Interstate 520 bridge project that has been completed in Seattle. The site is just east of the Port’s Terminal 4 in Aberdeen. Other expansion being considered is the former Grays Harbor Paper site, also adjacent to Port property.
The AGP company seeks to continue to expand its grain export business, Dunlap said, along with expansion plans from REG (Renewable Energy Group), which currently has a 100 million gallon per year biorefinery for bio-fuels.
“Whether that is a new refinery or some kind of storage capacity to support what they currently do, hopefully we’ll have some answers soon on that,” Dunlap said of the REG expansion. “It would be a significant investment in Grays Harbor.”
Contanda also is looking at expanding to handle several other liquid bulk products, not crude oil, Dunlap added, saying permits are expected to be submitted soon.
Also, there is a developing proposal to ship potash through Terminal 3 in Hoquiam by Australian mining company BHP Billton. Potash is sodium chloride and used for fertilizer, Dunlap said. It is mined in Canada and would be shipped by rail to the Port of Grays Harbor and then on to Asian countries.
If all the expansions are approved, it will be about a $1 billion in the local economy, Dunlap said.
One of the big questions in Ocean Shores was what the Port is doing for the city, which has no Port facilities and yet supplies a large portion of the property tax revenue the Port also receives.
“Is there anything you are working on in Ocean Shores that would actually help us?” City Councilman Jon Martin asked.

Nelson noted the Port continues to work with the city and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a long-term solution to shoreline erosion around the North Jetty.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Justice for Lac Megantic

July 11, Citizens for a Clean Harbor held a benefit for the Harding Labrie Defense Fund, and raised $135. Thank you to everyone involved!

For background on the case, listen to this radio interview from Your Rights at Work! via Pacifica Radio
Herbert Harris Jr (Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers &
Trainmen) reports on a local fundraiser to support Canadian rail workers being blamed for management’s mistakes in the 2013 Lac Megantic disaster.
Interview begins at 14.40
Our own Donna Albert sang this song for us.

Special thanks go to Fritz Edler of Railroad Workers United, for all his help and insightful discussion via Skype.

The Evidence is in: The Train Crew did not Cause the Lac-Mégantic Tragedy
Music Benefit for Lac-Mégantic Rail Worker Defense a great success!
Over $1700 raised kicking off fund drive for defense of the scapegoated rail workers and fighting for safe rails everywhere.

How many more have to die?

July 6th this year marks four years since a runaway train carrying volatile Bakken crude crashed and burned in the small town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killing 47 and destroying half the town. It’s time to recommit to making sure tragedies like this don’t happen again. It’s also the right time to speak up against the criminal trial beginning September 11th this year, that unfairly and inaccurately hangs the Lac-Mégantic crash on two railroad workers, Tom Harding and Richard Labrie.
Railroad managers push hard to squeeze every dollar they can out of every train run. The Lac-Mégantic train had a dangerous cargo, overlong train, defective equipment, a single crew-member and work rules that cut the margin of safety down to just about zero. The result was a disaster that still impacts the Lac-Mégantic community.
Multiple government safety investigations and independent journalists looked at what happened in Lac-Mégantic and came to the same conclusion. Railroad management policies made this kind of runaway train crash likely to happen sooner or later. Lax government oversight looked the other way until it did.
You would think that four years later there would be stronger safety regulations on every railroad, with extra layers of protection for dangerous cargo. Sadly, this is not the case. Railroad policymakers are still cutting corners and government regulators are still looking the other way. They want people to believe that the big safety problem is a few careless railroad workers.  But in Lac-Mégantic, SINCE the wreck, the supposedly safely restored wreck curve has now deteriorated and keeps that community at risk.  Everyone there tightens up when a train passes now.
Even after all the reports and exposes, the Canadian and Quebec governments are still not going after the railroad policy makers and their unsafe policies. The managers who made the critical policies will not even get a slap on the wrist. That’s just wrong, and it guarantees that the danger continues. Every year since the crash, the number of reported runaway trains in Canada has increased. That’s a sign of a reckless culture, not the actions of two rail-road workers one night in Quebec.
Whether your main issue is the environment, community safety, rail safety, or worker’s rights, it comes down to stronger government regulations and stronger railroad safety policies, with real community and labor enforcement. The two railroad workers were not the cause of the Lac-Mégantic crash or any of the runaway trains since then. They are not the ones still running trains right through the town of Lac-Mégantic, ignoring the demands of the survivors for a simple rail bypass. The people in Lac-Mégantic know that sending Harding and Labrie to prison won’t address any of their problems with the railroad. But if that happens, you can bet the government will close the book as the official verdict on Lac-Mégantic and railroad management will be standing there with them.
When you hold public commemorations this year, we ask you to make this point your way. Blaming Harding and Labrie for the Lac-Mégantic tragedy weakens all of us and all our causes. So all of us have to speak up.

Justice for Lac-Mégantic requires Dropping the Charges Against Harding & Labrie

see page 2 for more from Lac Megantic