Oil Enforcement Agency to bust oil worshiping cult at Portland City Council hearing on I-5 expansion
What: In a comic act of political street theatre, the fictitious "Oil Enforcement Agency” (OEA) will be operating a check point outside Wednesday’s Portland City Council meeting. The OEA will attempt to ticket supporters of the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) for their advocacy of oil abuse. Also in attendance will be a “cult” of pro-bridge oil-worshippers, complete with a 12 foot tall mock oil derrick.
When: Wednesday, July 9th, 2008, between 1 pm and 3 pm.
Where: 1221 SW 4th Ave, outside the Portland City Council chambers.
Why: Activists are pointing out that the CRC will encourage oil decency. They are concerned about the CO2 impacts of the CRC and Interstate 5 expansion as well as the reliance on oil-based transportation infrastructure at time when oil supplies are falling and prices are rising dramatically. The theatrics are intended to poke fun at the City Council’s support of the CRC, despite the city’s prominent green image.
The dramatics will take place as the City Council hears public comment on the CRC. The City Council has already pledged its support for the CRC, much to the dismay of community members opposed to the project who intended to utilize forum for a genuine debate on the project.
Who: The performance is orchestrated by Cascadia Rising Tide ( http://cascadia.RisingTideNorthAmerica.org) and the Convergence for Climate Action ( http://www.climateconvergence.org)
Background: The CRC is an investment in public works intended to accommodate more driving. Specifically the CRC is designed to enable a 30% increase in individual car traffic.
The state of Oregon has stated a goal of reducing global warming pollution to at least 75% below 1990 levels. Transportation-caused global warming pollution is responsible for 40% of all regional global warming pollution. Given these facts, activists believe the money should instead be invested in reducing driving through public transit, carpooling, greater support for biking and other programs.
Additionally, the I-5 freeway has caused negative health impacts on low-income communities and communities of color along the freeway: increased driving will lead to further pollution. By contrast, research shows that land use and transportation plans that encourage less driving help prevent chronic diseases associated with obesity, such as diabetes and heart disease, and respiratory illness, including asthma.
The event is a lead up to the 2nd Annual Convergence for Climate Action which takes place July 28 – August 4th in Coburg, Oregon. The Convergence focuses on climate and energy issues in our region, including the CRC, the Bureau of Land Management’s forest plan revisions, the removal of the Klamath dams, sustainable agriculture, and liquefied natural gas development along Oregon’s waterways.