We have no time to lose contacting our government representatives at the local, state and federal levels concerning a host of climate-related issues; their contact information is below. We will post specific actions/requests for contacting your representatives on this page and elsewhere on our website in the weeks and months to come. Stay tuned!
The Indivisible Guide: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda
DEQ extends comment period for Eugene Rail Yard cleanup plan to June 30, 2017.
Possible talking points:
1.) The May 22 DEQ meeting was poorly attended because it was not well publicized with a small legal notice in the Register Guard on page B-6 of the May 15 issue.
2.) Residents of River Rd. And Trainsong neighborhoods had uncontaminated working private wells and now may have tainted wells due to groundwater contamination from the UPRR rail yard. As a precaution, residents have stopped using their wells and now must pay for EWEB water to irrigate gardens and for recreational use. These residents should be reimbursed by UPRR for having to purchase water.
3.) DEQ recommends testing of private well water by a licensed testing agency. UPRR should be paying for these tests.
4.) DEQ has known of this soil and groundwater contamination in the River Rd. And Trainsong neighborhoods from UPRR rail yard since 1990. Real estate contracts that had private working wells since 1990 should have had disclosure statements to new buyers that these wells may have been polluted from a groundwater contamination plume that supplied the wells.
5.) Union Pacific Railroad, over the last 100 plus years, has damaged the natural resources (soil and groundwater) of the River Rd. and Trainsong neighborhoods which is a violation of the Public Trust Doctrine. According to this Doctrine, the Department of Environmental Quality has a fiduciary responsibility to protect the assets of the residents and return these natural resources back to their original state while holding UPRR financially responsible for any monetary damages.
6.) This is more than a pollution problem, it is a problem with how the democratic process has failed the community in believing there was a governmental advocate that preserves the rights of nature. DEQ needs to explain how they let UPRR pollute their rail yard for over 100 years and continue business as usual while contaminating the groundwater of River Rd. and Trainsong neighborhoods.
7.) DEQ should have or currently should do multi year studies to determine disease, illness trends, or cancer cluster tendencies in the Bethel, Trainsong, River Rd. Neighborhoods.
8.) Reports of poor air quality in the Bethel, Trainsong, and South River Rd. neighborhoods are regular and monitoring is only done in the south Amazon Park area. DEQ or LRAPA should be exploring more air monitoring of the west industrial areas.
Action #1 – Local (Eugene)
Turn out for Eugene City Council on May 22 to support our new campaign–a proposed ordinance for the City of Eugene to Divest from US Bank; See Events calendar to the right for details.
Action #2 – State
Turn out for the “Save the Elliot Forest Rally” on May 9; See Events calendar to the right for details.
Actions #3 – National
Support (call, email) Senator Jeff Merkley, thanking him for his leadership – along with Senator Bernie Sanders – introducing the “100 by 50” legislation, that would mandate our country convert to 100% renewable energy by 2050. https://www.merkley.senate.gov/100by50
Action #4 – National
Support Our Children’s Trust and the 21 Youth Plaintiffs taking the Federal Govt and fossil fuel industry to court later this year. Watch this CBS news piece featuring three of the youth plaintiffs-Avery McRae, Kelsey Juliana (both from Eugene), and Aji Piper (Washington); Donate to Our Children’s Trust: https://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/donate
April – May 2017
Action Item #1 – Support Oregon’s Clean Energy Jobs Bill (SB557)
What is the Clean Energy Jobs bill?
It’s the biggest climate priority being considered in Salem this year. The leading bill, Senate Bill 557, would do three things:
- Create a limit, or cap, on Oregon’s climate pollution that lowers each year;
- Set a price on each ton of climate pollution emitted by large utilities, fossil fuel companies, and the other biggest sources of pollution
- Reinvest the proceeds in clean energy solutions in our communities
Use hashtag #Clean Energy Jobs in contacting your legislator.
Youth Lobby Day April 12 at 9:30 am- 2 pm:
How does the program work?
The leading approach, Senate Bill 557, requires the biggest emitters of climate pollution to hold permits (called “allowances”) for each ton of carbon emissions they emit. Revenue from the allowance auction is invested in clean energy solutions and job creating opportunities in our local communities. Companies that reduce their emissions below the cap can sell or trade their extra allowances to other companies.
Has this been done before?
Ten U.S. states and 39 countries, including China, have a system to price carbon pollution planned or in place, covering about 50% of the world’s emissions. The U.S. solved the acid rain problem of the 1980s and ‘90s with a similar pollution pricing program.
California and the nine Northeastern states that have adopted the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have cut climate pollution dramatically while economic growth is ahead of the national average.
What kinds of projects would Oregon invest in? Who benefits?
Early projections show the Clean Energy Jobs bill would raise around $700 million dollars a year. The proceeds would be used to accelerate Oregon’s transition to clean energy.
To support communities disproportionately impacted by climate change, SB 557 dedicates significant resources toward investment and economic opportunities that benefit communities of color, low income, and rural communities. Some types of projects that SB 557 could support include:
- Making clean energy, like solar, more affordable
- Improving energy efficiency in homes and businesses
- Expanding clean energy jobs and training for workers and rural communities
- Increasing transportation options, especially in high pollution corridors
- Lowering home energy bills
How much difference would this make in the fight against climate change?
This strategy gets Oregon back on track to achieving our carbon reduction targets and accelerating Oregon’s transition to clean energy. Nearly 200 countries agreed to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to cut emissions to combat global warming – which requires leadership at all levels, including in Oregon.
Action Item #2 Take the No KXL Pledge of Resistance
President Trump has taken action to undo President Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL, opening the door for TransCanada to reapply to build the risky tarsands export pipeline that would pass through the fragile Sandhills and Ogallala aquifer in Nebraska.
Bottom line: This action by Trump does not “green-light” construction to begin on the Keystone XL pipeline. 
TransCanada has no approved route in Nebraska: The company still faces the unconstitutional pipeline law (LB 1161) it lobbied for through the Nebraska Legislature, which remains on the books.
TransCanada must apply with the Nebraska Public Service Commission: This process can take eight months to a year, and includes public hearings and other opportunities for citizen input. The PSC has the authority to compel TransCanada to choose an alternate route that avoids the Sandhills and Ogallala aquifer, or deny the permit application altogether.
No eminent domain for TransCanada until September 2017: TransCanada cannot apply to use eminent domain authority again to take farmers’ and ranchers’ land against their will until September 2017, according to applicable Nebraska state law governing the use of eminent domain.
The farmers, ranchers, Tribal nations, Pipeline Fighters and Water Protectors in Nebraska who successfully fought for over six years to defeat Keystone XL are gearing up to fight again to protect our land, water and climate.
We are asking you to stand with us, and take this first step: Sign the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance.
By signing the pledge, you are making a commitment to doing whatever you’re able — to resist.
To join farmers and ranchers, Tribal communities and everyone who cares about our land, water and climate — whether that be at home via your computer; in the streets at a protest or rally; in the courtroom or at a Public Service Commission hearing; or potentially on the pipeline route, to engage in nonviolent acts of civil disobedience to stop construction of the pipeline, should that day come.
You don’t need to commit to risking arrest to sign the Pledge — you only must commit to doing whatever you’re able — to resist.
If construction on Keystone XL begins and direct actions commence, we’ll need many volunteers to help organize these actions, and funds to help produce trainings so local leaders and activists can get the tools they need to organize an action near them, and to help cover legal and court costs for those risking arrest.
We are at the point where men and women of conscience must step forward.
In the tradition of great American struggles for freedom, like the Boston Tea Party, the March to Montgomery for Voting Rights, the Farm Crisis when farmers stood with their neighbors to block foreclosure auctions, and most recently, the resistance of Water Protectors at Standing Rock — we are asking people, if such a time comes, to stand for what we believe is right by engaging in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
You shouldn’t make this pledge lightly. We certainly don’t ask lightly. We ask in the belief that there are tens of thousands of people out there who feel as strongly as we do, who believe that these circumstances call for extraordinary action, and who want to be part of that action in their community. And we ask with the faith that those who commit to participate and organize actions will participate only in the most dignified manner.
If you are moved — we ask you to take the pledge. #NoKXL
February – March 2017
Action Item #1
Treasurer Tobias Read (D) joined Secretary of State Dennis Richardson (R) in voting to sell off the Elliott State Forest early February 2017. But the fate of the Elliott isn’t decided yet. There is still a chance for the legislature to act to keep it public. We must demand they do the right thing before the State Land Board meeting in April.
CALL: State Treasurer Tobias Read (503) 378-4329 and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson (503) 986-1523 and tell them:
1) Natural forests are essential for a safe & healthy environment,
2) Sale of the Elliott is not the only option, as shown in the governor’s public ownership framework and a Trust Lands Transfer Bill that will be proposed; and
3) Oregonians are gravely concerned about the privatization of public lands (and we’re letting all our state reps know it).
Share these posts on Facebook and Twitter telling Treasurer Read that he betrayed your vote by voting to sell off the Elliott State Forest. (Share or retweet using hashtag #BetrayedMyVote and encourage your friends and family to do the same.)
Action Item #2
State Budget Shortfall Town Hall at LCC – We need $1.8 billion to fund current services for the next two years! Tell your state reps!
They must either make huge cuts to the programs and services that families rely on, or find new revenue to fund these critical services, including a rapid and just transition from a fossil fuel economy to a clean and renewable economy.
Our state is dead last in corporate taxes, and is the third largest corporate welfare state after Alaska and Maryland. During 1973-75 budget period, corporations paid 18.5% of all Oregon income taxes. Today they pay just 6.7%, a decline of two-thirds.
Send your Oregon legislators a quick email and let them know we demand more revenue through increasing corporate taxes.
Send comments in an email to: email@example.com
Please do it today! This has to be an all-out rejection of “business as usual politics” where the public is forced to accept deep reductions in life-sustaining services, services that ensure mutual support and a robust vibrant democracy. Fund schools, fund clean jobs, fund health care!
Action Item #1
Make your voices hear concerning President-Elect Trump’s Cabinet Nominees
Next Monday, Jan. 9th, at 4:00 pm, there is a rally and protest planned at the new Federal Courthouse, followed by a short march to the old Federal Courthouse on 7th & Pearl, where we’ll make our voices and sign/banners heard and seen, opposing the worst of Trump’s nominees. (Note: The cabinet nominee vetting process will be taking place January and beyond, so it’s not too late to contact your representatives past Jan. 9, 2017.)
These actions are occurring in all 50 states this day (1/9/17).
We will be delivering a letter to our Senators at that time, urging them to oppose four nominations in particular:
Scott Pruitt – EPA (Oklahoma Attorney General)
Ryan Zinke – Interior (Montana Congressman and Navy Seal Commander/Irag war vet)
Rick Perry – Energy (former Texas Governor)
Rex Tillerson – Sec. State (former CEO and chair of ExxonMobil)
The content of the letter follows below in Italics.
Please consider these options for getting the letter to our Senators:
(1) If you wish to have your group’s name and logo added to the letter we deliver to our U.S. Senators next Monday, please reply in the affirmative and send along the logo you wish added. We’ll add your group’s name and logo. If you want to use / modify this letter for your own organization and add that to our delivery, or not, that is fine too. Please contact Deb McGee and Patty Hine at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(2) You are free to modify the letter so that it comes from you (rather than as part of a group).
Dear Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Ron Wyden,
This year is the hottest in recorded history.
President-Elect Trump’s cabinet nominations, with climate-ignorant billionaires, will be devastating for our clean air, water, soil and for our national security.
As our Senators, you are our last hope in preventing an all out assault on our climate and environment. We are urging you to block the cabinet nominations of:
1) Rex Tillerson, former CEO Exxon for Secretary of State, who worked for the biggest global polluter, which has known its product is devastating our atmosphere for decades, and who has problematic ties to Russia,
2) Scott Pruitt, Head of the Environmental Protection Agency, who has vowed to dismantle the same agency, responsible for ensuring our clean air and water, and our transition to clean energy,
3) Ryan Zinke, Secretary of Interior, who wants to open our precious public lands to more mining, oil drilling and fracking,
4) Rick Perry, Energy Secretary, who vowed to eliminate the entire department.
We have far surpassed the safe threshold of carbon in our atmosphere. It is time now to put the people and planet above short-sighted greed. We need to leave the fossil fuels in the ground. We need a rapid build-out of solar and wind power, as much for economic as environmental reasons.
Stop the destruction. Very quickly transition to 100% renewables. Not a moment to lose.
Thank you for your support and continued dedication to protecting our democracy and environment.
[groups’ names with logos] or your name and address