What can I do?

On this page you will find brief descriptions of current issues with links to more information.  If one of these issues is important to you and your community, there is contact info to make your voice heard.


From Columbia Riverkeeper

Save the Date: 6/7/17 Stand Up To Oil
Last Major Oil Train Hearing in Vancouver! Join Us

In June, Washington’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) will hold its final major public hearing on the Tesoro Savage oil-by-rail terminal. EFSEC will take public comments on the draft air pollution permit for Tesoro, the largest proposed oil train terminal in North America. This is your last chance to weigh-in before EFSEC makes a final recommendation to Governor Inslee.

Let’s send a clear message to Governor Inslee and EFSEC: we don’t want Tesoro’s dangerous trains or toxic air pollution.

When: Wednesday, June 7, 2017; Rally at 4:00 pm; Hearing from 1:00 – 4:00 pm, 5:00 – 9:00 pm
Where: Clark College, Gaiser Hall. 1933 Fort Vancouver Way Vancouver, WA
Wear: RED!

Oil train terminals are major sources of toxic air pollution. Tesoro would release smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs), diesel exhaust, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants linked to increased cancer rates. Tesoro Savage is tries to downplay this impact. Here’s where you come in: Tell EFSEC not to sacrifice the health of Vancouver’s residents, schoolchildren, and businesses for Tesoro’s massive oil-by-rail scheme.

You can submit a written comment to EFSEC today.
State of Washington
Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council
P.O. Box 43172
Olympia, WA 98504


 

The Clean Energy Jobs Bill, HB2135
Caps and prices carbon emissions and invests est. $700m annually in a transition to a clean energy economy, with particular attention to rural and disadvantaged communities – like us.

HB2135 is the one forest/climate bill left standing in the legislature, now in House Rules Committee – with continued working sessions planned.

HOUSE Apr 21, 2017: Recommendation: Do pass as amended and be printed A-Engrossed, be referred to Rules, and then referred to Ways and Means by prior reference.
HOUSE Apr 21, 2017: Referred to Rules by order of Speaker and then Ways and Means by prior reference.

Priority Action: let’s push this over the top and show Salem the commitment of North Coast. Handwritten letters, e-mails, phone calls suggested. Auto fill messages tend to be an irritant.

Affirm Rep. Boone continued support for cap/invest – Rep.DeborahBoone@oregonlegislature.gov 503-986-1432

Let Sen. Johnson know that Tillamook County needs this bill, with it’s reliance on market forces and business to drive this transition, job creation potential, it’s focus on rural communities like ours and help in addressing the mounting impacts of coastal severe weather. And, it provides market impetus for best forest practices. – Sen.BetsyJohnson@oregonlegislature.gov 503-986-1716

-Sign the Petition if you haven’t already. go to http://www.reneworegon.org/

North Coast CleanEnergyJobs Campaign Team
Mike 503-368-7391
Annie 503-801-6556
Jacob 253-861-8095


 

 

LNG spends 50 times opponents to defeat Coos County ballot measure

From:  The Oregonian/OregonLive

Voters in Coos County rejected a ballot measure Tuesday that would have banned the controversial Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas export terminal and its 231-mile feeder pipeline.

Measure 6-162, titled the Coos County Right to Sustainable Energy Future Ordinance, did not mention Jordan Cove specifically. But it took direct aim at the proposed Coos Bay terminal and pipeline by banning the development of “non-sustainable energy systems” and the bulk transportation of fossil fuels in the county.

Jordan Cove and its parent company, Calgary-based Veresen Inc., have spent the past dozen years and hundreds of millions of dollars trying to win approval for the project. Their application was rejected by federal regulators last year, but the company reapplied in January in hope that a fossil-fuel friendly Trump Administration could help them get a green light.

In the meantime, Jordan Cove donated an unprecedented $600,000 on the campaign to defeat the ballot measure, blanketing the county with television, radio and newspaper ads against the initiative. In an effort to win over the counties 41,000 registered voters, they spent 50 times as much as the yes campaign’s $12,000.

Coos, Nukes and Resorts

FROM COOS COUNTY

Talk about David versus Goliath….this has turned into absurdity in Coos County thanks to Jordan Cove pouring an unprecedented amount of money into Portland firms all hired to do what they can to kill 6-162 the Sustainable Energy Future initiative. Could it be they think they are going to lose? They have now kicked in a total of $668,500 to scare and mislead voters in order to try and get the outcome to go their way. It’s worth noting they say it’s “unconstitutional”. If that were true, why spend all this money? The Coos initiative is asking for the right for local “we the people” folks in Coos County to decide the energy future they want, not a corporation…but Jordan Cove, by dumping buckets of money, seems quite fearful of what the people might decide if left to their own devices. And so we get to the heart of the matter….who should get to decide this election outcome and our futures? The people of Coos County, or the money of Jordan Cove?

The story has now gone statewide and national. Many LTE’s have poured into The World–the local Coos County newspaper and this one particularly touched me as Larry and Sylvia became a part of this story recently when they learned their property is smack in the way of the horizontal directional drill proposed for Haynes Inlet (this after the state has said no to trenching the pipe down through the middle of the inlet to Jordan Cove). Here’s a full spread story on the Mangan’s place.

Some of us have been fighting this project as landowners in the right of way of this proposed Pacific COnnector Pipeline for over 10 years with many saying a resounding NO to the company. Not just because it’s an affront to our own private property, interests and safety, but because it takes a resource that could be used with FAR less of a carbon footprint right here in the U.S. (LNG is crazily energy intensive), because it will compete with renewable energy elsewhere and has the very real possibility of becoming a stranded asset, because they want to build this all in the Cascadia Subduction tsunami inundation zone, because LNG with all its methane leakage and energy intensity is worse than coal, because some of us believe that taking fossil fuels out of the ground is no longer possible if we want to reverse the disaster of climate change and ensure a future our kids and their kids can thrive in.

Again….If you have the capacity to help Mary, Colin and the crew in Coos County advocating YES on 6-162 for a sustainable energy future and against the use of eminent domain…..NOW IS THE TIME. Please help where you can. “We the People” include all the rest of us in Oregon and beyond that will also suffer the long term consequences of perpetuating the use of LNG export for 20-30 years.
Deb Evans
541-601-4748
debron3@gmail.com

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NUCLEAR BILL?
Senate Bill 990

A late-breaking warning of a dangerous bill that already passed the Oregon Senate, to effectively reverse the 1980 voter-passed initiative severely restricting nuclear plants in Oregon. They’re being sneaky about it; even Marbet only just caught on. It’s mainly to benefit a local Corvallis business, Nuscale, that is designing “small”, modular power reactors, so Corvallis representatives have a conflict of interest.

Marbet says it isn’t in committee yet in the House. Each of you needs to write to your own Or. Representative to oppose it. This is a push for neighborhood nukes! The attached fact sheet that Dana got from PSR should help. Also find out if your own Senator voted for it, as Sara Gelser did, and give them heck.

Michael Manzulli
Attorney at Law
Tolovana Park

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RESORTING RESORTS

HB 2031A, having already passed the House, is scheduled for a hearing before Senate Environment and Natural Resources on Monday, May 15 at 3:00 pm. It is really important to get coastal testimony in against the bill.

This is the bill that extends the deadline again for a Metolius Resort developer to “elect” to place his resort at another location in Oregon since the Metolius Basin was protected. Clatsop County is a listed place. Worse, this is a “super-siting” bill that changes the rules for the developer so he can site the resort in a particular location: Bradwood Landing. Bradwood is the favored site, from all we have heard. The bill removes “Coastal Shorelands” as a prohibited area where the resort may NOT be sited. It also removes “areas subject to natural hazard” as a prohibited area. Result: the resort can be sited in coastal shorelands, in a natural hazard-mapped location!

Testimony from concerned coastal residents is very important for Sen. Dembrow, and also Sen. Roblan (a south/central coast Senator who sits on the Committee). Please get testimony in from people who know the Bradwood site and can write a letter of concern by Monday morning, May 15th.

Senate Environment and Natural Resources: senr.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov
Sen. Michael Dembrow: sen.michaeldembrow@oregonlegislature.gov
Sen. Arnie Roblan: sen.arnieroblan@oregonlegislature.gov
Cameron La Follette
Executive Director
Oregon Coast Alliance
cameron@oregoncoastalliance.org
http://www.oregoncoastalliance.org

May CREATE meeting on May 25

This month’s CREATE meeting will be on Thursday, May 25, from 6 to 8 P.M.  We’ve moved it down a week because of conflicts with other events on the 18th.
Meanwhile, this great news…

Land Board votes to stop sale of Elliott State Forest

The offer from Lone Rock Resources and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians was rejected Tuesday in favor of continued public ownership
By Claire Withycombe
Capital Bureau
Published on May 9, 2017 7:59PM

Last changed on May 10, 2017 9:44AM

SALEM — The sale of an expanse of state forest near the southern Oregon Coast was halted unanimously Tuesday by the State Land Board.

The governor, secretary of state and treasurer, who make up the Land Board, rejected a planned partnership between a Native American tribe and a Roseburg timber company to purchase the Elliott State Forest in Coos and Douglas counties for $220.8 million.

The proposal had elicited significant opposition from environmental groups, and in the process raised questions about the state’s stewardship of public lands.

The offer from Lone Rock Resources and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians was rejected Tuesday in favor of continued public ownership, though the details of how that will work have yet to be determined.

The Land Board initially considered selling the 82,500-acre swath of coastal forest in 2015 because timber harvests that provided money for education were declining after environmental lawsuits challenged.

The Elliott State Forest is a state trust land and constitutionally required to provide revenues for the Common School Fund, which helps pay for public education.

Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and Treasurer Tobias Read, each of whom took office this year, initially supported moving forward with the sale at their first Land Board meeting in February. That changed Tuesday when they both opposed it.

The governor, secretary of state and treasurer are not out of the woods yet: They now need to find a way to finance public ownership of the forest and generate money for education.

Gov. Kate Brown has proposed using $100 million in bonds to buy a portion of the most ecologically sensitive areas of the forest — some estimates say that amount could be used to pay for about half of the total acreage — and negotiating what’s called a habitat conservation plan with federal land management agencies for the remainder.

Read last week announced a proposal that would build on the governor’s planned use of bond funds and have Oregon State University pay the remaining $120.8 million of the forest’s assessed value to turn the land into a research forest.

The idea is that foresters at Oregon State would study the relationship between active forest management and conserving endangered species.

Brown directed the department to consider Read’s research forest proposal, as well as work with tribal governments to “explore ownership or additional forest management opportunities.”

Doug Moore, executive director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, called the decision “a huge win for all and a reaffirmation of Oregon values.”

Although environmental groups, along with Brown and Read, struck a victorious tone Tuesday, the Oregon School Boards Association said last week that its member school districts may sue the board unless the full assessed value of the forest is paid to the Common School Fund.

Jim Green, executive director of the association, said his group would “continue to monitor these proposals very closely.”

“Any solution has to provide full value to the Common School Fund,” Green said. “That is what we owe our kids.”

Richardson suggested swapping the Elliott State Forest for land owned by federal agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

During the meeting, Richardson indicated his displeasure with the fact that the state was backing away from the sale proposal, and said he thought it was likely that the state would face litigation, but said it was “obvious” that the sale was not going to proceed.

The Department of State Lands had begun talks with Lone Rock Resources and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, which had proposed forming a corporation to buy the forest. Now that the Land Board has ended the sale, those negotiations will cease.

The Capital Bureau is a collaboration between EO Media Group and Pamplin Media Group.

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The Coos County LNG battle

Here’s the sad truth about what our kindred spirits in southern Oregon are up against.

https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/04/21/oregon-coos-county-faces-gas-industry-funding-lobbyists-battle-halt-jordan-cove-lng

Scattered throughout Coos County, situated on Oregon’s southern coast, are signs reading “Save Coos Jobs, Vote No on County Measure 6-162.” The signs were put there by Save Coos Jobs, a political action committee (PAC) with more than $358,500 in funding from Canadian-based energy company Veresen’s Jordan Cove Energy Project and other natural gas interests.

Measure 6-162 will go to vote in a May 16 special election. If passed, it would block what could become Oregon’s top greenhouse gas emitter: Canadian energy company Veresen’s proposed multi-billion dollar Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export facility and its associated 232 mile Pacific Connector gas pipeline.

Though the funding to defeat the “Coos County Right to Sustainable Energy Future Ordinance” is pouring in from out-of-state contributors and a PAC whose treasurer works for a government relations firm in Portland, Oregon, opponents have centered campaign messaging around fears that the measure could endanger “our community’s” economic future.

“If passed by voters,” Save Coos Jobs claims, “[the measure] would send a signal to the rest of Oregon and the world that Coos County is essentially ‘closed for business.’”

According to Jordan Cove LNG, the project would create 175 permant jobs. Environmental impact statements have predicted slightly fewer, at 150, along with an estimated 2,000 temporary construction jobs.

Hans Radtke, a natural resource economist who has served on the Oregon governor’s Council of Economic Advisors since 1993, told DeSmog:

“These construction jobs tend to be very specialized — people move with the jobs. So you bring in people who have just been in the Dakotas. When you see these jobs come in, you see license plates from other states.”

While he acknowledged that the LNG project will support some local jobs such as in restaurants, he questioned the extent. “How much of that money is actually going to stay [in Coos County]?” Radtke asked. The permanent jobs created, he said, would be highly automated and consist substantially of security jobs.

“I would not put my money on this project being built,” he added.

From Project Denied to Trump White House Boost
The fight over the terminal has been an ongoing saga in the Northwest.

When it was first proposed, private property owners who refused to give up their land became a first line of defense. In response, the project sued to overturn Oregon’s “landowner signature requirement,” which requires projects using eminent domain to get property owners’ sign-off when a waterway on their land is altered. The lawsuit was dropped after Veresen successfully pushed legislation through the Oregon legislature to expedite the permitting process and soften the signature requirement.

Conservation groups fought tooth and nail throughout the state and federal environmental permitting process and local activists have pressured Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Senators Wyden and Merkley to oppose it. But the decision to approve the project ultimately was left to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which, in a rare move, denied the project in 2016.

With the change of federal administration, however, the project is getting another chance.

Veresen CEO Don Althoff was one of the 24 CEOs who met with President Donald Trump in February to discuss American manufacturing. After a March follow-up meeting with White House officials, Althoff told Bloomberg News he was confident the project would be built.

“We talked about what it would take to get the project built and get it going,” Althoff told Bloomberg following the meeting. He said the White House is going to help him “get through the permitting process as quickly and as efficiently … the message to us [from the White House] was, ‘hurry up, get going.’”

Shifting Coos County’s Economy
The project’s 2016 defeat was the result of a multi-pronged opposition. However, throughout that process, a small group of activists called the Coos Commons Protection Council — a local branch of the Oregon Community Rights Network — remained wary of relying on FERC and the regulatory process. Now, with this fossil fuel-friendly White House, their ordinance many be a last line of defense against the LNG terminal.

Beyond merely opposing the natural gas project, the ordinance sets a new vision for economic development in the county.

“We the people of Coos County,” it reads, “have experienced substantial population loss in recent decades due to ill-advised and non-sustainable development policies … [we] have experienced firsthand the harmful effects of unchecked resource extraction.”

Coos County is struggling economically. “When the country gets a cold, [economically speaking],” Radtke, the economist, said, “Coos County gets pneumonia.”

To enforce the “right to a sustainable energy future,” Measure 6-162 states, “the people of Coos County have the right to adopt laws and policies to secure that right,” and “that right shall include the authority to require the development, production, and use of sustainable energy.”

This out-of-the-box ordinance defies numerous deep-seated legal doctrines. “If this measure becomes an ordinance,” a pro-Veresen editorial reads, “our county commissioners can expect to see numerous lawsuits that allege a ‘taking’ of property rights and/or assert violations of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3).”

Earlier this year, local ordinances in California and Florida have seen similar challenges. There, recently passed local ordinances to regulate rent, raise the minimum wage, and ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) have already been challenged by private corporate lobbies on similar grounds.

The Coos Commons Protection Council knows it is picking a fight. That’s why the measure states “corporate claims to regulatory takings or future lost profits shall not be considered property interests under this ordinance.”

“We are envisioning a new legal paradigm where communities trump corporations, not the other way around,” said Mary Geddry, a lead petitioner with the Coos Commons Protection Council and Oregon Community Rights Network board member. “We are not trying to hide that.”

Fossil Fuel-Funded Lobby Group at Work in Oregon
In response, Republican state Representative Cliff Bentz, who has received funding from Koch Industries and several oil and gas companies, introduced a bill to prevent municipal control of the fossil fuel industry. As the newspaper Street Roots reported, the bill (HB 2480) itself states that Bentz introduced it “at the request of PacWest,” a large lobbying firm that has worked on behalf of the oil and gas industry in Colorado. (Gas from Colorado would flow through Jordan Cove.)

Pac/West created a front group called Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development to oppose numerous local and state ballot initiatives critical of the fracking industry and to “shift public opinion in favor of energy development.” The group was funded by two energy companies with large gas fields in Colorado — Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Noble Energy.

Pac/West also managed Protect Colorado, another oil and gas industry funded group, which successfully pushed a state constitutional amendment to make it harder for Coloradans to amend the state constitution through the state ballot initiative process — after anti-fracking and community rights groups advanced the nation’s first fracking-related state ballot initiatives.

Under the bill the lobbying firm is pushing in Oregon, cities and counties would be prohibited from enacting “any charter provision, ordinance, resolution or other provision related to regulating the expansion of infrastructure for the primary purpose of transporting or storing fossil fuels.”

With the May 16 vote in Coos quickly approaching, campaigns are in full swing.

The oil and gas industry-backed Save Coos Jobs Committee has hired a “national signature gathering and field company” and is paying campaigners $15 per hour to oppose the measure.

Meanwhile, proponents of Measure 6-162 have received not quite $10,000 in contributions, and have set up an phone banking system for local and other volunteers to help.

“The amount of money we are seeing coming in against our ordinance, proves the point of why we need an ordinance like this,” Geddry told DeSmog.

Hannah Sohl
Director
Rogue Climate

More on Jordan Cove & pipeline

Long time Lower Columbia NO-LNGers will recognize the frustration expressed by Stacey McLaughlin in the message below.

Douglas County’s Pacific Connector Pipeline Affected Landowners need some advice and maybe some help – here’s the deal:

1.) Landowners John Clarke, Stacey McLaughlin, Francis Eatherington and Pamela Brown Ordway have appealed (on behalf of all opposing landowners) the Douglas County Planning Department’s continual granting of extensions of the 2009 Conditional Use Permit allowing for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline to traverse through farm forest lands in the Coastal Zone Management Area. After numerous pleas to Commissioners and the Planning Director, Keith Cubic, County Planning Director extended the CUP permit for the sixth time even after FERC denied the project in December 2016. Douglas County is now represented against these four landowners by Pacific Connector’s attorney Seth King of Perkins Coie in Portland. These landowners are representing themselves against Veresen’s international law firm with over 1000 attorneys in the United States and Asia. “We spent $40,000 the last time and we simply can’t stand up to them financially, so we have to hope for fairness and luck.”

2.) A letter was written to each member of the Board of Directors for the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce asking that impacted landowners be given an opportunity to discuss their concerns about the pipeline. Chamber CEO Debbie Fromdahl responded, ” thank you for your opinions and comments . . . the Chamber maintains its support and will continue to advocate for the Jordan Cove LNG & Pacific Connector pipeline project, a position it has held since 2009.” No offer was made to hear the other side of the story. Board members refused to discuss the issue when calls were made to them directly.

After more than 13 years of harassment and bullying, Veresen is at it again with their Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. Landowners are feeling very discouraged and frankly, hurt and offended that Veresen, Inc., the Canadian corporation is being given more consideration and respect than the people who live here. Landowners pay taxes to support Douglas County and are consumers of many of the Chamber businesses. What do you think we should do as a community to hold the Commissioners and the Chamber of Commerce accountable?

Veresen’s Project Manager told me at the Canyonville Open house that landowners refusing to enter easement agreements will be taken to court and eminent domain proceedings initiated; Betsy Spomer, Veresen’s Jordan Cove CEO was standing there when he said it. JCPC tells the media one story and when confronting a landowner who is against the project the tone and motivation changes dramatically.

One idea was to ask individuals to contact both the Commissioners and the Chamber Board directly, to advocate for landowners and voice opposition to the project. If you like this idea and are so inclined here are the Chamber Board members and their easily Googled phone numbers and the phone number to the Courthouse to reach Commissioners. Perhaps give them a call and advocate for your neighbors who truly are David standing against Goliath. OR, shall we have a call-in day where the impact might be greater?

Angela Brown – Southern Oregon Credit Service (541) 464-8414
Toby Luther – Lone Rock Timber (541) 673-0141
*Rheanna Mosier – Elwood Staffing (541) 673-3200
Pete Carhart – Knife River Materials (541) 679-6744
Diana Knous – Pacific Power 1-888-221-7070
John Murphy – Farmers Insurance (541) 672-4004
Allen Pike – Windmill Inn of Roseburg (541) 673-0901
Barry Robinson – AmeriTitle, Inc. (541) 672-3427
Steve Tavernier – Roseburg Forest Products (541) 679.3311
Michael Widmer – Umpqua Bank (541) 677-1665
Debbie Fromdahl – President & Chamber CEO (541) 672-2648

Commissioners Chris Boice 541 440-4210
Gary Leif 541 440-4201
Tim Freeman 541 550-4201

Are you interested in an opportunity for open dialog about this divisive and dangerous issue facing our community with civic leaders? Please let us know your ideas for a forum for both sides of the story to be told by sharing in a return email to me.

Thanks for your consideration and your time; on behalf of my fellow landowners know that we are grateful when you show up and you show support. You rock!

Stacey
stacey@mountaintopinsight.com