Realism and What’s Ahead

Sometimes it appears that we’re not making enough progress. We see the effects of change in our beloved Montana streams, rivers, and forests, the degrading of our natural resources by warming temperatures all around, and we don’t see enough progress in the halting of the greenhouse gases responsible for this degradation. But . . .

. . . with the new year, perhaps it’s time to pause and reflect on how strong the climate movement is becoming and remember that we here in Montana are linked in fundamental ways with those communities downstream. And when we take a wide angle view, we can see a very powerful force, a force to be reckoned with. A Washington activist, Don Steinke, just sent a list of 36 victories already achieved, and his list doesn’t include the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Otter Creek coalmine, both of which went down in recent years. Remember, too, that two of the four Colstrip plants, which are the fifth most greenhouse-gas-polluting plants in North America, are now scheduled for decommissioning because of market forces. And the fact that many communities in the Northwest have passed no new fossil fuel infrastructure ordinances and other rail-safety ordinances.

So, as you read this list, know that there will probably never be one climactic, ultimate victory but instead a steady one-by-one rejection of proposals put forth by the oil-a-garchy as the fossil fuel industry pursues a very extreme agenda. And stay tuned because, starting next week, there will be repeated calls for your participation in this very important social movement.

Here is the list:

  • Boardman OR Coal Power – agreements to close in 2020, signed ~2009
  • Kalama Coal Proposal – abandoned ~ 2009
  • Centralia Coal Power Plant – agreements to gradually close, signed ~ 2011 
  • Bradwood Landing LNG Terminal ~2011 — gone
  • Grays Harbor Coal withdrew application — 2012
  • Warrenton Oregon LNG stopped 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, abandoned April 15, 2016 (a victory that belongs to Columbia Riverkeeper)
  • Clatskanie Coal withdrew – 2013
  • Coos Bay Coal – withdrew –2014
  • Morrow Pacific Coal – rejected by Kitzhaber   — 2014
  • Longview LNG – rejected 2015  by Port of Longview
  • Portland Propane – rejected 2015
  • Longview Oil Refinery – rejected 2016
  •  Elected Eric LaBrant to the Port Commission
  • Clatskanie crude by rail terminal – put out of business by competition, 2015
  • Imperium Oil in Grays Harbor changing product — 2015
  • Longview Propane Export  — rejected 2016
  • Troutdale Natural Gas Power Plant – withdrew 2016 – Thank you Friends of the Columbia Gorge.
  • Oregon Legislature voted to get off of coal based electricity by 2030.
  • Jordon Cove Oregon LNG denied in 2016 but is re-applying
  • U.S. Development changes plans – Grays Harbor
  • Puget Sound Energy agrees to develop a plan to shut down Colstrip units 1 and 2.
  • Children’s Trust Court win April 8, 2016*
  • Northwest Innovation Works abandons Tacoma methanol proposal, April 2016
  • The proposed Tongue River Railroad in Montana was denied by the Surface Transportation Board.  This victory was 24 years in the making.  It would have enabled more coal by rail.
  • Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal near Bellingham rejected by the Army Corps in respect for the Lummi treaty rights.  This was HUGE.
  • Williams Western Pipeline expansion project, abandoned by applicant because of #7 
  •  Bans on new applications for crude oil facilities, Hoquiam, Vancouver.  
  • Shell Anacortes cancelled plans to build a crude by rail facility Oct 5, 2016 
  • Lighthouse Resources withdraws their proposal for the Morrow Pacific Terminal in Boardman Oregon.  (second victory for the same project)
  • Wasco County rejected double-tracking through Mosier.
  • We prevailed in court regarding coal dust.
  • Vancouver, Hoquiam, and Portland ban future crude by rail facilities.
  • Whatcom County Council issues moratoria on new fossil fuel terminals.
  • Possibly stopped the Dakota Access Pipeline, (The Army Corp General lives in Vancouver WA.)
  • Jordon Cove LNG denied again by FERC.  Dec 09, 2016
  • Millennium Bulk Terminals, Longview Coal, Jan 3, 2017
  • Pipeline under Puget Sound, rejected by Republican Governor Spellman 1982

Jeff Smith, Chair, 350 Montana