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The Thin Green Line: The Pacific Northwest Faces Off against Titanic Coal and Oil Export Schemes
People living in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, have a chance now to stop coal and oil trains from contributing to massive increase of fossil fuel pollution.Read this and then do what you can!
By Eric de Place
The Pacific Northwest stands squarely between the most voracious energy markets in the world and huge fossil fuel deposits in the interior of North America—Powder River Basin coal, Bakken shale oil, Alberta tar sands, and remote natural gas fields. Big energy companies plan to unearth these vast reserves of carbon-intense fuels and put them up for sale in Asia.
If they are successful, these energy firms will unleash the carbon equivalent of roughly five Keystone XL Pipelines. But to get their products to market, energy companies first have to build new terminals and pipelines to move all that fuel. They need destinations for the scores of oil and coal trains that they plan to run across the Northwest, and they need right-of-ways to lay new pipelines.
In short, they need [the] permission [of those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest].
So it is by geographic accident that the Northwest, perhaps the greenest corner of North America, will play an outsize role in determining the planet’s climate future. Will we double-down on coal and oil use, thereby jeopardizing our chance at a stable climate? Or will we act as a thin green line, insisting that we must do better—that our economy and our children demand a cleaner future?
To illustrate the threat—and the enormous opportunity—Sightline is proud to release a new video animation by Don Baker.
Don also compiled the video’s story into a handy infographic:
(This can be printed and handed out to others or put on bulletin boards in local stores and churches.)
Eric de Place, policy director, spearheads Sightline Institute’s work on energy policy. He is known as a leading expert on coal and oil export plans in the Pacific Northwest, and he is considered an authority on a range of issues connected to fossil fuel transport.
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