Monday, January 12, 2015

Time to write your elected officials!!

Governor Inslee wants Washington to be a clean energy powerhouse with legislation in place to make the states ghg emission reductions a reality. His legacy is threatened by the possibility of oil and coal proposals defining the future of the Northwest. It's his choice.

We want to let him and elected officials know that we are with them, that we will stand with them to create a clean energy future and not a coal and oil highway to hell.

Earlier today, Claudia posted an important article: 

             Fossil fuel subsidies are starving innovation

Left to the market, the fossil fuel industry could not survive in its current form. The industry only appears strong because of that $2-trillion in public subsidies – public funds awarded by short-sighted governments because of oil industry lobbyists. The success won’t last; the industry is on borrowed time.....Fossil fuels are not the future; they belong in the past. It is highly likely we will see higher taxes and fines applied to the industry, to offset the social and environmental costs of fossil fuels. As governments shift to future-friendly technologies, fossil fuels will become unattractive. Investment capital will pivot to fund cleaner, safer energy alternatives. These companies will provide investors a lower risk and more sustainable return in the long run. It’s not a question of “if,” but “when.” Today, the smart money is on resource efficiency, smarter production, clean transportation and a healthy environment.

Messaging Ideas:
* Protect the Northwest from more dirty oil and coal. Let's get busy building the clean energy future we all want for Washington.

* You have been clear that your wish for a legacy is to be governor who helps build a West Coast block dedicated to carbon reduction. That legacy will never come to fruition if you allow oil and coal proposals to move forward in our state. These proposals, if built, would more than quadruple the amount of emissions Washington state currently emits. And, what is on the rails today needs to be as safe as possible.

Talking points from our business petition:
Crude-Oil-by-Rail has enormous risks and almost no benefits for the communities along the rail routes. Both oil and rail companies (LLCs) claim they have no liability for any accident consequences, and the liability insurance they carry is quite minimal. Devastated communities would have no funds to rebuild, and the cost of clean-up would be left to taxpayers. Tribes and coastal counties are concerned about the impact of an oil spill in our marine waters and the threat to fishing, recreation, tourism and property values.

The planned Grays Harbor terminals would be sited on dredge spoils that would liquefy when a quake occurs in the Cascadia fault. Could the tanks survive such a quake? Could they survive the tsunami that would quickly follow?

The short line Puget Sound & Pacific Railroad (PSAP) picks up BNSF trains in Centralia and brings them to Grays Harbor. According to Sightline Institute: “significant underinvestment in equipment and track maintenance [by short-line railroads].... calls into question their ability to haul crude oil safely. In fact, as a group, these small railroads have an accident/incident rate that is 2.5 to 3.0 times higher than Class 1 railroads.” In GH County, alone, there were three derailments in a 2 week period this year!

31% of Grays Harbor's workforce is dependent on marine resources. A significant oil spill would have a massive effect on our economy. It is acknowledged that accident response would be slow, and the very swift currents in the Harbor would make any clean-up nearly impossible. Oil could spread far up tidal streams as well as into coastal waters from Astoria to Neah Bay.

Many of the residents, businesses and schools in our communities are within the 0.5 mile “blast zone” of the tracks. Real Estate reports estimate a 20%+ drop in property values just from increased freight volume alone. Add the dangerous character of that freight and our communities will be devastated even without a spill or explosion. How will property owners be compensated for lost value?

Due to its explosive nature and the potential danger to our communities and the environment, crude oil should not be transported by rail through Washington State, stored in earthquake/tsunami zones or shipped by tanker through our waters. 
The permits for the three storage terminals in Grays Harbor should be denied. We urge you to do everything in your power to stop the construction of new oil and coal terminals in Grays Harbor and the State of Washington.

Addresses below the fold:

Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
TTY/TDD users should contact the Washington Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-833-6388.

Representative Derek Kilmer
1520 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
phone: 202-225-5916

Senator Maria Cantwell
311 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
T: (202) 224-3441
F: (202) 228-0514

Senator Patty Murray
154 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2621
Fax: (202) 224-0238
Toll Free: (866) 481-9186

Letters to legislators:
19th LD
Representative Brian Blake
437A Legislative Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 - 7870
Email link:

Representative Dean Takko
336 John L. O'Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 - 7806
Email link:

Senator Brian Hatfield
237 John A. Cherberg Building
PO Box 40419
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 - 7636
Email link:

24th LD
Representative Kevin Van De Wege
434A Legislative Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 - 7916
Email link:

Representative Steve Tharinger
368 John L. O'Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 - 7904
Email link:

Senator Jim Hargrove
411 Legislative Building
PO Box 40424
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 - 7646
Fax: (360) 786 - 1323
Email link:

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