Power Past Coal – Speak Out!

Climate Solutions (www.climatesolutions.org) sent this message out on March 14. There is still time to raise your voice with Communities Against Coal Export.

In 2014, by submitting 8,000 public comments and providing six hours of public testimony to the Oregon Transportation Commission, Power Past Coal scored a major victory that stopped state funding from subsidizing a coal dock on the Columbia River.  Now, because of pressure from the coal industry and its allies, the victory is at risk of being overturned.

On Thursday, March 19, we need to let the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) know that we oppose a controversial and inaccurate Connect Oregon application to fund a coal dock.

The Port of St. Helens wants $2 million dollars of state money to fund a coal dock at Port Westward for Ambre Energy’s Morrow Pacific Project. But their request was rejected in August by the OTC. Rather than simply rubberstamping funding for the coal dock, members of the OTC listened to those who testified, diligently researched whether the coal dock application complied with the state’s laws, and concluded that it was inaccurate and incomplete.

After months of heavy lobbying from politicians and Big Coal, the coal dock application will go in front of the OTC again and we need you to be there to stop it…again!

  • What: Public meeting of the Oregon Transportation Commission to re-vote on the funding of the coal dock at Port Westward. Remember to wear red and RSVP if you want to carpool!
  • When: Thursday, March 19, 2015, 10 a.m. Carpools leaving from the Columbia Riverkeeper office at 1125 SE Madison in Portland at 8:15 a.m. Please RSVP to jasmine@columbiariverkeeper.org if you plan to carpool!
  • Where: 355 Capitol Street NE, Room 103 Salem, OR

Three minutes of public comment is allowed at the beginning of the meeting, but not on any agenda item (Connect Oregon and the coal dock are agenda topics). This means that your public testimony could mention the importance of public participation in decision making and reminding the commission that transportation decisions create the road map for our region’s future. It’s important that commissioners see and hear the impacts of their decisions to our state before they vote on the coal dock!

In January, former Governor Kitzhaber fired the chair of OTC, Catherine Mater, over her tie-breaking vote on the coal dock application. Without her leadership, the OTC could make a move that provides state money to dirty energy projects like coal export.

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