An important part of faithful Christian life is care of the creation all around us. We are earth creatures beloved by God!
Our earth is meant to be a place of dynamic well being. It is beautiful, rich and complicated, and it is supposed to teem with life from the microorganism to the macroorganism, from the earthworm to the giraffe. What a world God has made! What a blessing is this Life!
Many United Methodists are working to challenge the destructive practices that imperil the wellbeing of communities, families and this good earth. As we shift away from the industrial age, we speak out loud for a better, more just and beautiful world.
Methodists are working to ‘set things right’ when it comes to the wellbeing of people and communities. We call this work ‘Climate Justice’ and ‘Creation Care.’
- United Methodist Women urge us to Be Just. Be Green.
- United Methodists urge a Fossil Free UMC
- Read about the focus on Creation Care by everyday people in our Pacific Northwest Conference.
- Read about the interfaith work of Earth Ministry.
An Oil Train rolls through the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.
Southwest Washington-what’s going on.
Learn more about what is going on right here in Southwest Washington, in the east Clark County communities of Camas, Washougal, Vancouver and surrounds.
JUST IN: Hearing Dates Announced for those who want to speak and be heard regarding the proposed Tesoro project have been announced. Please come January 5th to the Clark County fairgrounds and lend your presence to this important event. Read more here.
- Local organizer Don Steinke’s latest email updates regarding Oil Trains, the proposed transit station, and more, can be found below (scroll down).
- Stay in touch on the latest regarding NuStar and the proposed Oil Terminal via Columbia River Keeper.
- Congratulations to Eric Labrant, Vancouver Port Commissioner elect! Read his statement on the proposed Oil Terminal here.
- Read about Camas Mayor Scott Higgins’ letter to Gov. Inslee in the Post Record and the Columbian. Read the Mayor’s letter.
- Washougal Mayor Sean Guard camped out for a week to count the oil and coal trains. Read about his week.
- Get informed about the Oil Trains and Proposed Oil Transit Station! Read the Columbian story Cantwell: Act Now On Oil Trains ; Port of Vancouver calls for stricter oil-train safety rules ; and listen to the NPR report Northwest Oil Terminal Plan Would Mean Jobs — And More Oil Trains
- Keep up on local issues with the Friends of the Columbia Gorge.
- Get connected with those who are seeking to end mining and blasting on Livingston Mountain.
- Lend your voice for a bright future for Camas; check out Camas2035, as the city updates its comprehensive plan.
Thank you to CVTV for livestreaming the NuStar hearings, there were very many members of the Clark County community who spoke for a comprehensive Environmental Impact Study including Pastor Richenda:
People of Faith Lead the Way
Leaders of faith the world over have spoken out against the injustices that are the direct result of Climate Change. Watch this video and listen to the words of Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu as he calls for people of faith to think about the real consequences of what we are doing.
Don Steinke is a local organizer and a leading local voice speaking against the Oil Trains and proposed Oil Transit Station. He keeps an email list, his latest email is below. See also his Oil Train Fact Sheet (pdf), and his facebook page. Contact him via facebook.
————Steinke Email of September 15th 2015————
Ride the bus with us to Grays Harbor on October 8
Our goal is to get 100 people from the Portland-Vancouver area to this hearing.
What: Free bus ride to the hearing in Aberdeen
When: October 8, leave at 11:30 a.m., back by 10:00 p.m..
Where: Meet-up at the Salmon Creek Park and Ride.
Please use this link to RSVP even if you don’t plan to ride the bus.
If you can’t make it to one of the public hearings in Grays Harbor, you can sign this petition to Governor Inslee today! [http://www.standuptooil.org/take-action/]
Topic 4 Natural Gas Pipeline Hearing
What: Natural Gas Pipeline Hearing
When October 7, evening
Where: Ridgefield Community Center
Details: The natural gas industry plans to nearly double the capacity of its pipeline coming down the I-5 corridor from British Columbia to Woodland.
They plan to go under the Columbia to a Liquified Natural Gas export terminal in Warrenton Oregon at the mouth of the Columbia River.
We’ve been hearing that natural gas is worse than coal for every and all uses, because of all the methane leaks in the system.
————Steinke Email of August 7th 2015————
Vancouver Oil Terminal News
We won our Public Records Case against the Port of Vancouver Therefore you don’t need to come to the courthouse today.
The Clark County Natural Resources Council had sued the Port of Vancouver to publish an un-redacted copy of the lease. The Port and Tesoro decided to settle yesterday.
We had wonderful public testimony at the NuStar hearing yesterday. Thank you all for being there. http://www.columbian.com/news/2015/aug/06/nustar-appeal-of-environment-review-heard/
EPA saysTesoro Savage’s Oil Plan Doesn’t Pass Muster
Energy policy committee
We need an Energy Policy Committee to envision and advocate for local policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Let us know if you would like to be on that committee. It seems it would be a good idea to get those policies into the County Plan. The County will have an open house of their plan on Sept 1, in the evening. http://www.clark.wa.gov/planning/2016update/alternatives.html
Our Coal Fight Against Millennium Bulk Terminals
For four years we’ve been fighting permits for the largest coal terminal in America proposed for Longview. Millennium would receive 8 unit trains of coal per day. Each coal train is nearly 1 ½ miles long. Those trains would travel first through the Columbia River Gorge and Clark County. Come to our Sierra Club Beyond Coal and Oil Task Force Meeting this Wednesday to learn what you can do plug into that campaign.
- When: August 12, 6:00 p.m. Meet and Greet at 5:30.
- Where: First Congregational United Church of Christ 1220 NE 68th Street in Vancouver. Turn right as you enter the lower doors.
For those of you who are new to our campaign, see attached for some background information.
The Port Race Primary Election Results
Eric LaBrant led the group of those opposing the oil terminal and will advance to the general election against Lisa. Congratulations Eric.
Vancouver 101 – Small Businesses Opposed to the Oil Terminal
Check out the new video they produced for Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vancouver101/videos/868507759864143/?pnref=story
Great job Boris Popovic and Don Orange of Hoesly Automotive, Don and Alona Steinke
————Steinke Email of July 3th 2015————-
Vancouver Oil Train Campaign Calendar
Our high priorities for the next seven months will be:
Mid July . . . Submit Scoping comments to the Army Corps – details pending
Late July . . . Draft EIS hearings in Hoquiam – date pending
August 6 . . . Public Testimony regarding NuStar
Late Nov . . . Coal terminal hearing in Longview
Jan 2016 . . . Tesoro Savage Draft EIS hearing in Vancouver
In order to prepare your testimony for the hearings . . .
Come to an Oil-by-Rail-Workshop presented by the Sierra Club and Columbia Riverkeeper attorney Miles Johnson and others on Wednesday July 8.
We’d like people to leave the meeting feeling ready to testify at the NuStar hearing. Think about one or two other key people you might bring to the NuStar or other hearings. We’d like everyone to
– Identify their personal perspective.
– Explain a point they’d like to make.
– Hone in on at least one fact they will use.
Where: 1220 NE 68th Ave in Vancouver in the First Congregational United Church of Christ. Enter the lower doors, and turn right.
When: July 8, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 pm
We need 100 people to commit to attend the hearing in Grays Harbor at the end of July. We’ll meet at the Salmon Creek Park and Ride. If 100 people commit, Washington Environmental Council will pay for a bus.
The exact date is not yet known, but it would probably be a noon-to-midnight deal. Let us know if you want to be added to the list!
The Port Race
If the Governor’s decision on Tesoro is appealed, the case could be in court until 2017. We suspect the Tesoro Savage lease could expire if permits are not obtained by August 1, 2016 . At that time the Port could choose to back out of the deal.
Therefore, we need to vote for the right people in the August 4 primary. Most, if not all, of the candidates have webpages. Check them out.
The law allows unlimited campaign contributions in Port Districts, such as Vancouver’s, with fewer than 200,000 registered voters.
David Madore and Clyde Holland have donated serious money to Lisa Ross for Port.
Oil Train Facts
From the thousands of pages written about oil trains and terminals, we’ve tried to select the facts that mattered most to us in Vancouver and have compiled them into the attached document.
We’ve arranged them in such a manner as to provide the big picture and the reasons oil terminals are not in the public interest, and what the alternatives are. We try to give this information to those who are new to the campaign.
Soon after Brooks Berndt began as pastor of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, he looked for organizations fighting for Social and Environmental Justice.
He and Roger Cole were the drivers to launch the Beyond Coal Task Force. He made it possible for the Sierra Club to use the church for phone banking and for our monthly meetings. He gave us a home. Brooks has recently has been chair of the Loo Wit Conservation Committee. He is a catalyst and a participant.
Now he has accepted the call to be the Minister of Social and Environmental Justice at the National level for the UCC church, and will be moving to Cleveland Ohio.
We appreciate the UCC church for its progressive vision. And we really appreciate Brooks for his leadership and friendship. He will be missed but his work will continue. Thank you Brooks and Eunita.
We really appreciate Don Orange, and Boris Popovic of Hoesly Eco Auto and Vancouver101.us for organizing small businesses. Great press. Great event. You were heard in Olympia.
They made the Portland Business Journal.
Reducing demand for fossil fuels
We encourage people to purchase Community Solar. For $100, you can own one share in a community solar farm developed by Clark Public Utilities. The PUD installs the solar panels on its property, but you would own them and receive the revenue they generate. Alona and I purchased some shares. Several payment schedules are available.
Because of state incentives, you will earn more than $1.08 per kilowatt-hour which is more than ten times the normal rate. Get on the waiting list ASAP.
Attention young environmentalists- elementary through high school.
A partner organization called Our Children’s Trust invites you to a special Youth Climate Leadership Training Camp!
When: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Where: Concordia University, Rm 310 in the George R. White Learning Center (library). 2811 NE Holman St., Portland, OR
Their Youth-Climate-Action-Now program trains youth to advocate for legal protection for the atmosphere.
They recently won their court case to require the Washington Department of Ecology to establish rules to protect our climate. This could be big!
Please RSVP and direct questions to Meg at ourchildrenstrust.org
Get connected with some of our friends
Thank you for helping build a people-powered climate movement.
Don and Alona Steinke