Local Current Issues

Proposed Propane Development Faces a Setback In Longview

This morning, 3/10/15, the Port Commissioners of Longview voted to not renew the lease to Havens Energy to build a propane export facility at Berth 4 in Longview. We applaud their decision and we know it was not an easy choice for them to make. The process for the final vote has been in the works for months with meetings and testimony from industry and the community. In fact, the commissioners listened to testimony from both sides this morning at their meeting. The resulting vote was a victory for all the hard work and efforts of the members of ILWU Local 21, LCSC, CRK, and WHAS members. It is very monumental when labor and everyday citizens can raise concerns regarding safety, economic, environmental, transportation, & siting problems with a project and when our elected officials listen to them seriously.

WHAS opposes Fossil Fuel Export Facilities

A Resolution to Oppose Fossil Fuel Export Facilities
In Washington and Oregon

Willapa Hills Audubon Society
Passed by Vote of the Board of Directors, June 11, 2014

Whereas: Fossil Fuel Export facilities are proposed at many NW locations including Whatcom County, Grays Harbor County, Coos Bay, at several locations along the Columbia River, and new proposals appear with increasing frequency; and,

Whereas: The increased burning of fossil fuels will lead to increased levels of greenhouse gas in the global environment, pollution, and dangerous climate change; and,

Whereas: The extraction of most newly exportable fossil fuels is most often environmentally unsound, such as mountain-top removal in search of coal, strip coal mining, the fracking process in search of oil and gas, or of poor quality, such as the tar sands oil of Canada; and,

Whereas: The transport of fossil fuels, particularly by rail, is most often dangerous and/or dirty and disruptive, and requires large scale facilities in wetlands and next to ecologically sensitive waterways; and, Whereas: Conservation of United States' fossil fuel resources is a national security and energy independence issue, worthy of detailed debate; and,

Whereas: Conservation of energy in the US is becoming increasingly important; and,

Whereas: Willapa Hills Audubon already opposes several proposed LNG ports along the lower Columbia River, and the proposed coal export facility at Longview, and oil export at Clatskanie; now, then,

Be it Hereby Resolved: Willapa Hills Audubon opposes all export of fossil fuels from NW American ports, (with the possible exception of derivatives of natural gas, which will be determined on a case by case basis), and that this resolution will stand until changed or amended in future.

This resolution is available as a pdf here.

Darrel Whipple’s testimony against Port Westward rezoning

Oct. 3, 2013

I am Darrel Whipple, Rainier, Oregon 97048. I have lived here with my family for forty-three years. You all know me from my school teacher career or my volunteer activities. I am a founder and board member of Friends of Fox Creek in Rainier. I served on the county’s Reduce Illegal Dumping Task Force; I continue to serve as vice-chair of the Lower Columbia River Watershed Council and vice-chair of the Columbia County Cultural Coalition Board. But this year is the first time I have actively tried to influence the outcome of the Port District elections, or of a county administrative procedure – this rezoning of farmland to industrial at Port Westward.

As I testified in May at the Planning Commission,

Read more: Darrel Whipple’s testimony against Port Westward rezoning

Charlotte Persons oral testimony at the Longview coal export hearing.

I am Charlotte Persons, a resident of this area for over 20 years, and president of Willapa Hills Audubon Society.  Willapa Hills Audubon Society is concerned about the health of the estuary habitat of the Columbia River—for wildlife AND humans:

We ask that that the EIS carefully consider three aspects of protecting the habitat that we live in:

(1)   The health of residents, especially in areas close to the proposed site.  While winds will blow coal dust from the coal terminal and the trains that supply it throughout our area, people living and working in the Highlands and Mint Farm areas will be most critically affected.  Residents of existing coal terminals in our region, in British Columbia and Alaska, regularly complain of the black dust that coats their houses and boats.  Exposure to coal dust has been linked to increases in chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.  The proposed Millennium terminal is only slightly more than a mile from homes and schools in Longview. We ask that the EIS carefully examine these potential health impacts.

Read more: Charlotte Persons oral testimony at the Longview coal export hearing.