Two opportunities for CREATE-ive action

Urge Columbia County Commissioners to deny the Port Westward rezone. Attend the public hearing on the proposed rezone at 6:00 p.m. on August 2 at the Clatskanie High School Auditorium, 471 SW Bel Air Drive, Clatskanie. Public testimony will be accepted.

Find out more here:


The Columbia River Estuary Action Team and Columbia Riverkeeper are on the Astoria City Council agenda for Monday, August 7, asking the Council to pass a resolution opposing any proposed oil-by-rail terminals.  A copy of the draft resolution is attached.  The meeting begins at 7pm on the second floor at City Hall.

Here is a link to a study by the Washington Attorney General’s Counsel for the Environment concluding that a significant oil spill related to the operation of the proposed Tesoro Savage oil terminal in Vancouver, WA could release up to 8 million gallons of crude oil into the Columbia River Estuary – closing fishing, harming habitat, and causing hundreds of millions in damage to the Columbia River Estuary.

Show your support by attending and testify if you wish.

Draft Astoria Oil resolution

Methanol and forestry news

Hello CREATE-ives,

Our next CREATE meeting is July 20 at 6pm at the Blue Scorcher.   More news below.

From Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky at Columbia Riverkeeper:
Instead of being a green leader, Washington just approved the world’s largest fracked natural gas-to-methanol refinery. The methanol refinery could emit more than a million tons of climate pollution every year.1 This week, in an effort to protect our climate and the Columbia River, we filed a legal appeal of two permits, and the Environmental Impact Statement, for the methanol refinery proposed on the Columbia River in Kalama.

Read our full press release here and learn about the fracked gas-to-methanol refinery on our website here. Working with our partners at the Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity, and represented by Earthjustice, we are asking the Washington Shorelines Hearings Board to reverse the permits for the methanol refinery.

The Seattle Times reported, “Enviro groups appeal state permits for $1.8B methanol plant in Kalama.”

The Kalama methanol refinery would increase Washington’s fracked gas consumption by nearly 40%!2 This methanol refinery alone would consume more fracked gas than any other sector (residential, industrial, gas-fired power plants) in the state. At a time when clean energy needs our full support, the Kalama methanol refinery weds Washington to the fracked gas industry.

What can you do to help Washington realize its green ambitions? Tell Washington Governor Jay Inslee that you support green energy solutions—not fracked natural gas pollution.

Call his office: 1-800-833-6388

Reach out on social media @GovInslee on Twitter and @WaStateGov on Facebook

Write a letter: Governor Jay Inslee, Office of the Governor, PO Box 40002, Olympia, WA 98504-0002


From Roger Dorband and Helen Westbrook:

There was some good discussion and updating on various issues at our at our last meeting on May 2nd. .  Our work will continue sometime toward the end of September when we will meet again.  Helen and I hope you all have opportunities to get out in the forest this summer and will continue to make your voices heard whenever possible.  Some of the areas of concern that we are tracking for renewed discussion in the fall are as follows:

1. THE ELLIOTT STATE FOREST –  In early May the Land Board voted to keep the Elliot as public land rather than sell it off to a timber company.  While that was good news, the proposed alternatives all have pros and cons.  Governor Brown’s proposal that the state should essentially buy land from itself in order to protect it, as Washington has, seems like the most viable plan.

Treasurer Read wants to sell the land to Oregon State University as a research “lab” .  The OSU Forestry Department likes the idea, but could they be trusted to protect the sensitive areas given they are the bastion of tree farming in the state?

Out in right field is Sec. of State Richardson’s idea to trade the land for federal land that would be less controversial to be logged.

All 3 of these plans are discussed more fully on-line

2. THE LINN COUNTY LAWSUIT – One could almost think that a potion producing sanity and reason have been surreptitiously put into Oregon’s water considering what has happened with the Elliottt and the lawsuit.  The same judge that found the suit viable over a year ago has reconsidered, changed his reading of the law  and virtually thrown out the case rendering huge blow to the timber barons and their lawyers!  Suddenly the Clatsop County Commissioners who voted it down look prescient. Yikes! I can’t believe I wrote that! (see letter below)

3. THE 2018 AOP –  The AOP is the Forestry Department’s planned timber sales for the upcoming year. As we introduced it at the last meeting there are 14 different parcels on the chopping block.  On the Boiler Fleet site the Forestry plans to spare 8 acres of 125 year old trees.  This  small grove is located very near Highway 30.  It would make an idea (nearly) roadside park and picnic area if anyone in state or local government had the vision to imagine it.  Its hard to guess why they might not be cutting these trees.  Maybe they have developed a conscience about taking out such large trees in a place so close to public scrutiny, or maybe they want to have a token gesture of ecological compassion up their sleeve in the face of a public outcry over the remainder of the plan which cuts many older trees.

Here’s what Chris Smith of the North Coast Forest Coalition had to say about the overall plan which cuts mostly trees 80 years old and older.

“Regarding (of the reason to save the 8 acre parcel of 125 year old trees) all the other sales, none of them are in “conservation areas.” I think the crux of the matter is that they should be because they are the closest thing we have to old growth on the north coast. Cutting these rare, old stands is essentially proactively preventing habitat from developing – just like Tim Josi and the timber industry want. It’s the same problem with Homesteader, which was not a conservation area but should have been based on what it offered.”

Those of you who attended the last CREATE meeting, heard Carolyn Eady give about a presentation of how ODF responded to several detailed comments that were submitted that were highly critical of the proposed Plan.  Basically, ODF brushed comments aside, did not answer the questions raised and are proceeding to clearcut the County’s oldest and largest trees.  In Clatsop County, their actions will eliminate the possibility of producing older growth forests here for many generations.  Carolyn plans to appeal these actions by testifying (hopefully, along with others) at an  Board of Forestry meeting on July 26.

4. ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL – The “Westerman Bill” under consideration in the US House of Representataives is a retrograde series of changes in forest management that are tantamount to Manifest Destiny on steroids. Like so much that has been introduced under the Trump administration the bill would take the country headlong into the good old, bad old days of yore.

– NT: House Logging Bill (HR 2936) Guts Federal Environmental Laws, Literally Privatizes Public Lands, Creates Logging Free-for-All

– “The Westerman Bill is breathtaking in how brazenly it seeks to destroy responsible science-based forest management in this country,” said Susan Jane Brown of the Western Environmental Law Center.

-Trees of our national forests are “crops and ought to be harvested.”  Sonny Purdue, US Agriculture Secretary

For more information check out


CREATE News Summary

CREATE website is
Columbia Riverkeeper website is

The Oregon Public Utilities Commission (Commission) has final say on whether Global Partners can buy massive oil storage tanks from a neighboring industrial site at Port Westward, near Clatskanie, Oregon. The Commission can stop Global Partners’ tank farm expansion if it finds the sale is not “consistent with the public interest.”  The public hearing is this coming Tuesday in Salem.  Details here:

Dan Serres told our June CREATE meeting that Washington Governor Jay Inslee will have the final say on Fracked Gas to Methanol in Kalama, on Oil by Rail in Vancouver, and on Coal Export from Longview.  Contact Governor Inslee and remind him of the harm these projects pose to the Columbia River, its ecology and its existing economy.

Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Call at 360-902-4111
Fax at  360-753-4110

Even Spokane’s city council, far from the danger, has passed a resolution against fossil fuel projects on the Columbia.  Astoria, Warrenton and Long Beach have not.  The attached estimate of the economic and environmental damage from an oil spill may change their minds.  Here are Dan Serres comments about the report:

The Executive Summary, page S-8, says:
“Summarizing data from multiple incidents, the range of damages from other oil spill incidents scaled by the volume of oil spilled in the Columbia River scenarios is $232 million to $1.16 billion for the tanker grounding, and $24.4 million to $122 million for the train derailment. The restoration-based damages estimate of $171.3 million calculated for the vessel grounding is below this range; the damages estimate of $84.9 million calculated for the train derailment is within this range. These estimates do not include damages from oil discharged to the ocean, which, if considered, would result in substantially higher estimated damages.”

The report gives a lot of detail about damages to fishing, fish habitat, and the businesses that support on-the-river activities. But it also is likely a very low range of the damages, ignoring discharges to the ocean, impacts to tribal fisheries, impacts to drinking water and other services, and other issues that will balloon the cost far beyond 1.16 billion. Notably, the report acknowledges that other major oil spills on the Kalamazoo River (from a pipeline) and in Lac Megantic, Quebec (from an oil train) had damages in the billions.

I think this is useful because it was one of the pieces of information that led the Washington Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson to oppose the project. And it directly contemplates major harm to Astoria and other communities downriver from the oil terminal.

The second PDF attached is a draft resolution for the Astoria City Council prepared by Pamela.  The thinking at the June meeting was that we determine the next Astoria Council meeting with a light agenda and gather at that meeting to support it.
We will explore asking to be put on the agenda and/or submitting the resolution and the oil spill damage report to the council and staff in advance.

We’ve been asked to organize a cleanup locally along the Columbia.  Kathleen says she will take on the project when she gets back from her schnitzel orgy in Germany.
“I am Kate Sundberg, a summer intern with Columbia Riverkeeper. I am writing to you all to see if CREATE would be interested in organizing a clean up or event in Astoria for 2017 Love Your Columbia Day. Love Your Columbia Day is a day when there are community river cleanups, invasive species eradication, and restoration projects in local communities along the Columbia River. This year Love Your Columbia Day will take place on August 26, 2017 at various locations along the Columbia River. Please let me know if you would like to host a clean up/event and feel free to email or call (541-387-3030) for more information or if you have any questions. Thank you!”

I wrote to Jody McCaffree to express our with to support their battle against Jordan Cove.  Here was her response.
“Thank you so much for your concern and offer to help.  I can add you to my e-mail update list where I let people know when there is an opportunity to do something.  Sending letters and comments into the agencies when they are needed or hounding public officials concerning their positions on this project is very helpful.  We need to also put pressure on the Trump administration because his administration’s position of putting industry first at any cost is NOT in line with putting AMERICA FIRST.”

The 3rd and 4th attachments are from Mike Cook from Tillamook County regarding the CleanEnergyJobs Bill, which he would like us to endorse.  In the future he plans to seek the support of the Clatsop County Commission.

That’s enough for now.

June CREATE Meeting, Thursday 6/15

June CREATE Meeting
Thursday, June 15, 6pm
Blue Scorcher


1. Fracked Gas to Methanol in Kalama – some permits issued.  (Dan Serres)

2. Oil-by-rail – Vancouver (Tesoro Savage) & Port Westward (Global Partners) both pushing to expand oil-by-rail.  (Dan Serres)

3. Jordan Cove LNG – scoping open. FERC is back. Hearings in June!  (Serres)

4. Astoria Council Resolution to protect the Columbia  (Pamela M2)

5. Report from Forest Interest Group

As always, your suggestions for agenda additions are welcome.


KMUN will air Barbara Bernstein’s latest radio documentary, SACRIFICE ZONES in two parts.  Part One will be on at 9am tomorrow, TUESDAY 6/13 and Part Two will air at 9am on 6/20.  Here is a description of the program, which includes Dan Serres, Cheryl Johnson and Laurie Caplan.

“Since 2003 a rash of proposals have surfaced in communities throughout the Northwest to export vast amounts of fossil fuels to Asian markets via Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. If these plans go through the Northwest would become home to the largest oil terminal in North America, the largest coal export facility in North America and the largest methanol refinery in the world.

SACRIFICE ZONES is a story about the pressure to transform a region of iconic landscapes and environmental stewardship into a global center for shipping fossil fuels. This one-hour radio documentary investigates how petrochemical development of the scale being proposed for the Pacific Northwest threatens the region’s core cultural, social and environmental values. And it shows how opposition to these proposals has inspired the broadest and most vocal coalition of individuals and groups ever assembled in the Northwest, a Thin Green Line of opposition that has so far slowed or stopped all the fossil fuel projects being proposed.

In SACRIFICE ZONES we hear from Native American tribes, longshoremen, environmentalists, business leaders, health care professionals, first responders and local residents along the blast zones of oil trains and terminals, who are raising their voices in public hearings, court proceedings, rallies and marches.”


From Mike Cook of Tillamook County who spoke to our CREATE group in April:

You may have already seen this alert, but, please do contact your legislators.  Oregon’s existing and successful low carbon fuel standards are threatened to be gutted in legislative wrangling over the proposed transportation package.  To accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy, we need all three.  The CleanEnergyBill provides the overall market based framework for this transition over the next 30 years.  Over that time it will contribute an estimated $500 million annually to transition the transportation sector.  And, we need to manage Oregon emissions now to address the immediate public health impacts.  With Oregon’s commitment to the global Climate Alliance and business on board as shown in the recent Oregonian editorial, we have the momentum now to move forward.  Let’s not let short sighted political maneuverings step us backwards when the rest of the world is marching forward.

Background:  Emboldened by federal action to undo climate commitments, big oil is using the final weeks of our legislature to push a rollback of one of Oregon’s most innovative and effective clean air protections, the Clean Fuels Standard.

Oregon’s Clean Fuels Standard is already a big success: reducing air pollution and bringing business investment into our state. In the first year, Clean Fuels slashed 775,000 tons of climate pollution, the same as taking 164,000 gas cars off the road for a year.

Contact: (please leave your return phone number)

Rep. Deborah Boone:, 503-986-1432

Sen. Betsy Johnson,, 503-986-1716

Rep. David Gomberg:, 503-986-1410

Senator Arnie Roblan:, 503-986-1705


One million say “no” to coal and oil on the Columbia


Today is a milestone for everyone who has raised their voices to protect their family’s health and safety, their homes and communities, our shared Northwest waterways and our shared responsibility to head off climate change. Governor Inslee was presented with more than one million messages asking him to say no to more coal and oil trains and terminals that threaten so much of what makes our Northwest home and way of life special.

What can you do to help?

Please take a few moments to help us spread the word by sharing this news with your networks:

Twitter: 1 million messages say #InsleeMust protect the NW and #nooiltrains #nocoalexport. @GovInslee

Facebook: We hit a milestone today! ONE MILLION messages to protect the Pacific Northwest from oil and coal exports delivered today! @WaStateGov and @EcologyWA can take action and block fossil fuel exports! Share and tag them today!

Attend upcoming events to show your support for clean air & water:

Last Major Oil Train Hearing in Vancouver: Thursday, June 7, 2017

Can’t attend? *Sign this petition today!

Millennium Coal Final Environmental Impact Statement


Tribes run for Salmon and dam removal and against LNG Pipeline

The Karuk Tribe, Yurok Tribe and Klamath Tribes will be celebrating the holiday weekend with a 300 mile relay run for Klamath Salmon, showing support for Dam Removal and opposition to the LNG Pipeline

Taking part will be youth and mentors from Klamath Basin Tribes and supportive members of the community of all ages.

Runners will begin the event May 26 at the mouth of the Klamath River in Klamath, CA.  On May 27 they’ll relay the salmon baton up highway 96 to Keno Reservoir.

On May 28 at 10 a.m.  Runners will host a press conference at the Klamath Wildlife Refuge Miller Island Unit, the proposed Klamath River crossing of the Jordon Cove Liquefied Natural Gas Pipeline.

Runners will end up at the Klamath Tribes Memorial Day Pow-wow at Klamath County (Oregon) Fair Grounds at noon.

For more information:

* Matt Mais, Yurok Tribe, 707-954-0976, mmais@yuroktribe.nsn.u
* Craig Tucker, Karuk Tribe, 916-207-8294,
*Taylor Tupper, Klamath Tribes, 541-891-3686


Astoria Parks

Parks info from Astoria City Councillor Cindy Price:

How did the Parks & Rec Department get in this situation?

Ten years ago the Department was reduced to 14 full-time employees, about half the staff from the previous decade.

Over the following ten years, through today, budget cuts further reduced the number of full-time employees in the P&R Department by half again, to a total of 7.

Meanwhile, also over the last decade, parks facilities & activities have increased by 30 percent; and recreational programming has increased by 70 percent.

And of course, labor and material costs increase each year.

So that’s how we got where we are, to this breaking point for staff.