Climate Convergence and LNG
LNG Opponents and Climate Convergence Partner to Send a Message to LNG Industry.
WESTCOAST CLIMATE CONVERGENCE BUILDS OPPOSITION TO DIRTY ENERGY
Over the past seven days, activists and local energy organizers have been teaming up to stage the West Coast Convergence for Climate Action. The event is occuring simultaneously with the SE Climate Convergence and the UK Climate Convergence. Hundreds of people attended workshops, skillshares, lectures, and action trainings in Skamokawa, Washington. The event culminated with direct actions targeting dirty energy companies and LNG proposals in the Pacific Northwest.
The event culminated with over 150 people participating in a direct action on Monday, occupying the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility at Bradwood, Oregon.
LNG and the West Coast Climate Convergence:
The Skamokawa event drew hundreds of people into Wahkiakum County in close proximity to a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Bradwood, Oregon. The Columbia River divides Oregon and Washington, and participants in the Convergence learned about attempts to sustain the local economy of the Lower Columbia River while resisting massive fossil fuel developments in the area.
On Monday, August 13th, Convergence participants were joined by dozens of local activists opposing the Bradwood LNG terminal. The group gathered on the Washington shore of the Columbia River, where hundreds of people live in close proximity to the Bradwood LNG proposal. Using fishing boats, sailboats, kayaks, and an umiak, participants in the action crossed the Columbia River and occupied the beach at Bradwood where NorthernStar Natural Gas intends to construct a large LNG terminal. The terminal's peak daily capacity is twice the average daily use of Oregon natural gas consumers. Washingtonians, Oregonians, and a variety of activists from throughout the West Coast staged this successful occupation of the LNG site with no injuries or arrests.
The action had a twofold purpose, both highlighting local and global impacts of LNG development. The local impacts of the LNG proposal are severe and include endangering salmon, excluding local river users from the River, disrupting shipping traffic, and threatening the public safety on nearby Puget Island, WA. A banner was hung on a cliff adjacent to the Bradwood site, showing a target symbol and the words "Another LNG Disaster - What's Your Number?" The "number" refers to recently released clasified pictures obtained anonymously showing that NorthernStar, developer of the LNG terminal, has numbered every structure within two miles. Local LNG opponents first exposed this disturbing mapping project during Clatsop County land use hearings, with one resident asking, "If we're not going to be impacted at all, then why is there a number on my roof in this picture?"
The global impacts of the LNG industry were also a focus of the Climate Convergence, where participants learned that LNG is up to 40 percent more carbon intensive than natural gas due to its long supply chain (LNG must be extracted as natural gas, liquefied, shipped huge distances, and ultimately regasified). Recent studies show that LNG is comparable to gasified coal (aka "Clean Coal," a true oxymoron - see post about SE Convergence!) in its carbon impacts. Furthermore, local LNG opponents shared what they had learned about the global LNG industry, having communicated with opponents of LNG producing facilities in Indonesia and Russia. In these places, the severe economic, environmental and human rights impacts of LNG development are multiplied many times over in comparison to the experience of rural Oregon and Washington.
Beyond climate change issues, the West Coast Convergence used the carbon trail of various energy sources to put the environmental, human rights, and labor practices of the fossil fuel industry on display. Speakers addressed a huge variety of issues pertaining to coal, natural gas, and hydropower issues while others used the event to demonstrate skills and sustainability practices that can preclude the need for destructive fossil fuels and hydropower.
The Convergence was met with strong local support and important exchanges between those fighting fossil fuel development on local, regional and global scales. The Monday and Tuesday events helped draw more attention to continuing infrastructural commitments to destructive energy sources.
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