Mosier Project Denied Again to Protect Tribal Rights

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It appears the legal dance over Union Pacific Railroad’s proposed siding project will continue. On Tuesday, the Columbia River Gorge Commission (CRGC) rejected UP’s appeal, thereby denying the railroad’s bid to build an extended railroad siding at Mosier.

In a lengthy hearing at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center that included Friends of the Columbia River Gorge showing a video of the fiery oil train derailment at Mosier on June 3, 2016, multiple attorneys on both sides of the siding issue argued back and forth in what an attorney for Union Pacific referred to as “a merry-go-round.”

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Vancouver Oil Terminal Will Be Hazardous To Our Health (Stan Freidberg, PSR)

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Stan Freidberg is a PSR champion--36 out of his 37 years as a cardiologist at The Vancouver Clinic has been as a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Read his op-ed about the health dangers of the proposed Tesoro-Savage oil terminal in The Columbian.

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Portland & Multnomah County Pass Nation's Most Progressive Commitment to 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

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On Thursday, June 1st, the Portland City Council and Multnomah County Commissioners both unanimously voted "yes" to commit Portland and Multnomah County to powering community-wide energy needs with renewable energy by the year 2050. The votes come as a huge local success, tragically coinciding with President Trump's announcement of pulling the United States out of the Paris Accord for action on climate change. Portland and Multnomah County's resolutions make a bold commitment--including implementation of renewable electricity by 2035, electrification of transit busses, and a focus on investing gains along the way into marginalized communities who are most affected by the adverse health effects of climate change but who bear the least responsibility for its causes.

Regna Merritt, Healthy Climate Director for Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, said:

Climate change is already harming our health. It contributes to heat stroke, dangerous extreme weather, the spread of insect-borne and water-borne diseases and sea level rise. Low income and communities of color are most harmed by the changes for which they are least responsible. Elected leaders of Multnomah County and the City of Portland are once again world leaders in facing the greatest public health challenge - and opportunity - of our times.

Pete Danko of the Portland Business Journal covered the votes, which you can read here.

Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility would like to thank all of the hardworking community members who helped get these resolutions off the ground. Oregon PSR is particularly thrilled with amendments passed that address the use of biomass (energy from burning forests) and the explicit exclusion of nuclear power and incineration of medical and municipal waste from definitions of renewable energy. 

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Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Senator Ed Markey Reintroduce the SANE Act: Cut Dangerous Nuclear Weapons Spending

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In stark contrast to Trump's disastrous budget proposal which increases spending for militarism and nuclear weapons at the expense of essential social and environmental protections, Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey today reintroduced the SANE Act which would slash nuclear weapons spending by $100 billion over the next decade.

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Governor Roberts Urges 'No' on Senate Bill 990 - Retain Nuclear Power Moratorium

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Former Governor Barbara Roberts and Public Utility Commissioner John Savage urge Oregon House members to reject Senate Bill 990, which would make an exception to the state's voter-passed law requiring a permanent disposal site for high-level nuclear waste and statewide voter approval before new nuclear power plants can be built in Oregon.  The bill had passed the State Senate with little notice, and Governor Roberts and PUC Commissioner Savage submitted this opinion piece strongly opposing it - published by the Oregonian on Oregonlive.  Click here for the full article.  

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Portland & Multnomah County Commissioners Need Calls for a Progressive 100% Clean, Renewable Energy Resolution

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Oregon PSR is working tirelessly with partners to secure strong resolutions from the City of Portland and Multnomah County that support a rapid and just transition to 100% renewable energy. We've been on a trajectory to secure the best policy in the nation. Given that 2016 was the warmest year on record and 2016 was the wettest winter on record, we know we have no time to spare if we are to avert climate catastrophe. 

It's very important that we share a common understanding of what is and what is not "renewable energy." As the date for the June 1st hearings and votes on these 100% renewable resolutions fast approaches, industry has pushed back hard on decision makers who agree with us. They pushed so hard that, just yesterday, one of the most critical clauses was deleted from proposed resolutions. 

The "disappeared" clause:

WHEREAS, “renewable energy” specifically excludes energy derived from fossil fuels, nuclear, non-residential biomass, incineration of municipal and medical waste, and any large-scale future hydroelectric development;

We need your help to get it back!

Call Portland City Council: 

Call Multnomah County:

Sample Calling Script:

Hello, my name is _________. 

I live in (Portland/Multnomah County and am a public health advocate/health professional. I support a rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels and towards a healthy climate.  I support reinstatement of the following clause in the Renewable Energy Resolution:

“Renewable energy” specifically excludes energy derived from fossil fuels, nuclear, biomass, and incineration of municipal and medical waste;

I am counting on Commissioner _______________ to include that language and pass it. 

Please DO NOT GIVE IN to pressure from industry and utility lobbyists to weaken or block this critical element of the Renewable Energy resolution. Thank you!

We trust that, with many supportive calls coming from you, we will move our elected leaders to reclaim this significant safeguard in strong resolutions for health and climate justice. Together, we must counter a huge industry/utility push to exclude it.

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PHOTOS: Rally & Hearing to Support Clean, Renewable Energy over Fracked Gas at the Oregon Public Utilities Commission Public Hearing

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On Monday, May 15th, 2017, advocates for clean and renewable energy gathered in downtown Portland to rally against Portland General Electric's proposed permits to build out fracked gas power plants at the Carty Generating Station near Boardman, OR. Although the utility suspended permits for the project on Friday, May 12th, there is no reason why the project couldn't be placed back on the table. Attendees at Monday's hearing made their voices clear to the Oregon Public Utility Commission: suspended permits are not the same as withdrawn permits. Advocates in Portland demanded clean, renewable energy, telling Portland General Electric to hit the "delete" button on fracked gas, not just the "pause" button.

You can add your voice to the 10,000 comments submitted in favor of clean, renewable energy to the Oregon Public Utility Commission: https://goo.gl/forms/j4UswNKWg2RK6gLA3

See below for more pictures of the event. Thanks to all who came out!

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Miko Vergun of Beaverton, OR, one of 21 young people suing the U.S. Government for failing to address climate change.

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Mayor Mark Gamba of Milwaukie, OR discusses dangerous methane emissions from fracked gas.

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Native activist Willa Wallace from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation speaks about the critical importance of honoring our Earth.

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Oregon PSR Endorses a YES Vote for Healthy Portland Schools

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Oregon PSR endorses a YES vote on Measure 26-193 to get the lead out of Portland Public Schools.

Portland Public Schools haven't had safe drinking water all year.

Be sure to drop off your completed ballots by Tuesday, May 16th!

Learn more: https://www.healthyschoolspdx.com/

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One Million Statements Delivered in Olympia, WA to Protect the Pacific Northwest from Fossil Fuel Exports

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OLYMPIA, WA—Oregon and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility helped deliver 1 million comments in support of protecting the Pacific Northwest from dirty, dangerous fossil fuel exports today. Power Past Coal, Stand Up To Oil, Columbia Riverkeeper, and other partners called on Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington State Department of Ecology to block the proposed Tesoro Savage oil terminal in Vancouver and deny permits for coal export in Longview. Both projects in Vancouver and Longview, if built, would respectively be the largest oil and coal export facilities in the world. 

See video below from Power Past Coal and Stand Up To Oil:

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Hanford Emergency Underlines Need to End Nuclear Power

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Photo courtesy of King 5

TUESDAY, MAY 9 -- Workers have been evacuated or told to shelter in place because of a tunnel collapse onto a contaminated rail line used to reprocess nuclear waste. 

In an interview with the Washington Post, Edwin Lyman with the Union of Concerned Scientists stated: “It appears that this is a potentially serious event...Collapse of the earth covering the tunnels could lead to a considerable radiological release.”

The incident is a grim reminder that we are still at risk of exposure to highly dangerous radioactive waste from the production of nuclear weapons and nuclear power. You can make a difference: tell the Oregon State Legislature to reject SB 990, which would allow construction of new nuclear power plants that create dangerous nuclear waste.

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