Olympic Climate Action (OCA) joins with the Sierra Club, the Native Connections group of the Unitarian-Universalist Church in Port Townsend, Pull Together, and Stand with Kwantlen to present three nights of entertainment, food and speakers to educate the community about the hazards of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in British Columbia.
The pipeline, which would deliver tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to port in British Columbia, could increase oil tanker traffic in the region by 700% and would triple the amount of oil currently transorted. At 890,000 barrels a day, it would be bigger than both Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Tar sands oil sinks rather than floats when spilled and would be virtually impossible to clean up. The spill threat and noise alone could devastate marine life, and the carbon released from burning this oil would compound the already dire consequences of climate change, which have brought this peninsula drought, burning rain forests and receding glaciers.
To fight this pipeline, a cross-border coalition of environmental, indigenous, and social-justice groups has formed under the name Pull Together. This name evokes the traditional canoes that generations of first peoples have used to transit the Salish Sea — the region that encompasses the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, and the Strait of Georgia in Canada. Recognizing that the Salish Sea is a single ecosystem, groups on both sides of the border are recognizing their common interests in protecting this special place. Pull Together is raising funds for a lawsuit against Kinder Morgan based on indigenous rights to clean water, air, and land.
To help this effort, a coalition of local groups are hosting free entertainment / education / fundraising / activism events:
- August 22, 6-9 pm, Finnriver Farm & Cidery, 124 Center Rd., Chimacum. A veggie/fruit tray will be provided: food and drinks will be available for purchase.
- August 23, 6-9 pm, Elwha Klallam Heritage Center, 401 E First St in Port Angeles. The event will feature Indian tacos, entertainment, and door prizes including:
- A wine basket from Harbinger Winery.
- A Storm-Tech winter jacket with the Pull Together logo.
- A framed 16 x 20 photo of the Salish Sea, printed on canvas, by art photographer Lindsey Aspelund.
- August 24, 6-9 pm, Quimper Grange in Port Townsend. Donations will go to Stand with Kwantlen, a native rights group working to build a healing lodge in the path of the pipeline.
Keynote speaker at the August 22-23 events will be Eric de Place, Policy Director with the Sightline Institute, the leading expert on fossil-fuel export proposals and the threats they pose to our region and the planet.
The program for the August 23 Port Angeles event also features:
- A special performance by the North Olympic Orca Pod.
- Vanessa Castle, Water Protector, activist and member of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, will address threats to indigenous rights and sovereignty.
- Michael Foster, member of the “Valve Turners” who shut down all major tar sands pipelines on October 11, 2016, will discuss the movements individuals can join to protect the local community and counter the interventions of Big Oil, Gas, and Coal.
- Victoria Leistman, Sierra Club regional organizer who is working to stop proposed oil terminals across the region, will show the Pull Together video:
Pull Together Campaign from Made You Look Media on Vimeo.
Peninsula Daily News story
Poster for the Port Townsend event